Hightlights


  

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox expressed support for the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision committee’s planned updated guidance on liquidity management for banking organizations in light of the recent market turmoil, in a March letter to the committee’s chairman. Cox provided specific data concerning Bear Stearns’ liquidity and broker-dealer regulatory capital before its sale to JP Morgan Chase.

“The conclusion to which these data point is that the fate of Bear Stearns was the result of a lack of confidence, not a lack of capital,” Cox wrote. “When the tumult began…, and at all times until its agreement to be acquired by JP Morgan Chase…, the firm had a capital cushion well above what is required to meet supervisory standards calculated using the Basel II standard.”

To view the letter, visit www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-48.htm .

FASB and its parent organization, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), will host a forum on convergence, High-Quality Global Accounting Standards: Issues and Implications for U.S. Financial Reporting, June 16 at Baruch College in New York.

Panelists will include users of financial statements; representatives of small and large companies both public and private; auditors; regulators; educators; and others representing facets of the U.S. economy that would be affected if there were a move from U.S. GAAP to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The panel agenda is likely to include whether IFRS and U.S. GAAP should ultimately converge and, if so, how and when; how to prepare the United States for a possible shift to IFRS; issues of accounting education and professional certification; regulatory and tax issues; potential effects on reporting by private companies and not-for-profit entities; and the future role of FASB.

Advance registration online is required to attend the event in person. The forum will also be webcast live on FASB’s Web site. To register, or for more information, go to www.fasb.org .

The International Federation of Accountants Board approved a proposal to move to one quality translation of IFAC standards per language. As a result, IFAC released for public comment a consultation paper, Translation of IFAC Standards , which outlines a proposed translation process. The process is designed to facilitate the ability of member bodies and other qualified organizations to translate IFAC standards and to ensure the timeliness and quality of such translations. While the official working language of IFAC and its boards and committees is English, IFAC has said that it is crucial for practitioners, legislators, regulators, educators, students and others who work in languages other than English to have access to current IFAC standards in their native languages.

IFAC is working to strengthen its translation processes. It has created a translation Web page that, among other things, features a translation database based on information submitted by third parties. The database features a listing of IFAC publications that have been translated, along with the name of the translating body and links to a list of key terms.

The consultation paper can be viewed at www.ifac.org/eds . Comments are due by June 30.

The AICPA is seeking volunteers to help develop a set of best practices relating to the possible U.S. convergence with International Accounting Standards. The purpose of the best practices will be to guide preparers and auditors, influence the content of the CPA examination, and share thought leadership. Qualified volunteers will have experience preparing financial statements based on International Accounting Standards, auditing those financial statements, or teaching the subject. If you have experience with international standards and are interested in helping, submit your name to Volunteer Services at volunteerservices@aicpa.org .

The FDIC developed a free curriculum to teach people ages 12 to 20 basic skills for handling money and finances. Money Smart for Young Adults , according to FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, will help schools, youth groups and other organizations teach young adults the importance of saving and how to develop good financial habits early in life. The curriculum, which is distributed on a CD, is aligned with the educational standards of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It includes optional computer-based exercises for each module. More information is available at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/young.html .

At an April joint meeting in Tokyo, the Accounting Standards Board of Japan (ASBJ) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) confirmed that the convergence project to eliminate major differences between Japanese GAAP and current IFRS by the end of 2008 is on schedule. The boards plan to hold their next joint meeting in London in September.

 

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