Even though most American CPAs do not prepare or audit IFRS financial statements, many have begun learning the international standards, according to an AICPA survey.


Two years ago nearly a third of AICPA members reported no familiarity with IFRS. But this year’s results show that number has been cut in half, to just over 15%. The latest survey, conducted April 20 to May 7, found that nearly half (47%) of CPAs already have basic knowledge of IFRS, a clear advancement from the 39% who had basic knowledge in October 2008.


Nearly one in four CPAs (24%) say they expect to need “advanced” knowledge of IFRS in coming years, compared with 5% who say they already have advanced knowledge. Seven percent expect to need expert knowledge in the future, compared with only 1% who have expert knowledge today.


More than half (60%) say the SEC should ultimately require adoption of IFRS for U.S. public companies, but most believe more convergence of U.S. GAAP with IFRS is needed first. Another 18% said IFRS should not be mandated, but should be available as an option for use by U.S. issuers. Only 6% said IFRS should not be mandated or allowed for U.S. issuers. And 16% were unsure.


For more on the survey, go to tinyurl.com/2a854lz.


A majority of respondents (53%) are aware that the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) recently issued IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs). However, 51% of CPAs in public practice are “unsure” about whether they would advise their clients to adopt IFRS for SMEs. A similar percentage (49%) of CPAs working for private companies indicated that they were unsure about adopting IFRS for SMEs.


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