At Plante & Moran, we believe accounting in the United States has reached a point that’s unique and quite unprecedented. We also believe that accounting and finance professionals will have some substantial challenges, opportunities, and choices over the next few years.
We’re beginning to come to grips with changes in accounting that are big and far-reaching, the result of significant momentum toward a move to a single set of global accounting rules. That momentum has been building for most of this decade.
We’ve seen the AICPA strongly endorse this idea of a single set of global standards as what’s best for U.S. businesses and, in addition, endorse the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) established by the International Accounting Standards Board as the right set of global accounting rules. The change this represents will be challenging. Public companies, of course, will be guided by decisions made by the SEC and their timetables. No doubt you’ve read and heard a great deal about this aspect of what’s going on – and no doubt the public company issues will get more attention as things develop.
But other companies are actually in a much more interesting situation. Here’s why. For the first time, entities in this country have the ability to choose the GAAP they want to use. They can choose to continue with the traditional U.S. GAAP to which we’re all accustomed, or they can choose to adopt either the full version of IFRS or the new IFRS for small and medium-sized entities.
Our recent webinar, is meant to help you begin to understand the choices that now exist. We point out some of the differences, including positives and negatives, with an eye toward where the different sets of accounting rules stand now and where they’re headed over the next five years or so. We also touch on some of the implications for accounting and financial systems and operations issues that will arise, depending upon which direction you take.