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 released Monday.
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 now. 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.
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.