AICPA Highlights Need for IASB Funding, Independence


The AICPA called on the SEC to contribute funds to support the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, the parent organization of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

 

In a comment letter to the IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board, the Institute wrote, “We believe any solution by the SEC would go a long way towards achieving a stable funding mechanism” for the standard setter.

 

The letter was filed in response to the foundation’s Feb. 7 report, Consultative Report on the Review of the IFRS Foundation’s Governance. The Institute generally supports the report, according to the letter. But it urged the SEC to continue its work to find a way to help fund the IASB and asked the IFRS Monitoring Board to be mindful of the need for independence of the IASB in both fact and appearance.

 

“We strongly urge the SEC to expedite their efforts,” Dan Noll, CPA, AICPA director–Accounting Standards, said Monday during an IFRS Monitoring Board round-table meeting at Stanford University.

 

In its letter, the Institute said that it does not support the Monitoring Board having a more prominent role in the selection of the IASB chair, “as such a more prominent role could be seen as impairing the IASB’s independence.”

 

“We believe the trustee selection process, with the added review by the Monitoring Board is appropriate,” Noll said. “However, we believe that the IFRS Trustees must take care to ensure it has an appropriate representation from small and medium-sized entities, especially as more nations adopt the IFRS for SMEs (International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities) standard.”

 

The Monitoring Board is responsible for ensuring that the IFRS Foundation Trustees continue to discharge their duties as defined by the IFRS Foundation Constitution, as well as approving the appointment or reappointment of trustees.

 

Though much remains uncertain, the SEC has made clear that it envisions 2015 as the earliest possible date for the required use of IFRS by U.S. public companies. Commissioners have called for more study of IFRS and a 2011 vote on whether to move ahead with a mandate to use IFRS.

 

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