Recently, the Securities and Exchange Committee conducted a study with some of its staff members from the Chief Accountant’s Office, and other divisions to develop and implement a work plan to determine the best course of action in transitioning the U.S. accounting standards to incorporate proposed International Financial Reporting Standards. As a means of providing the SEC with accurate information to make a compelling determination, the staff members executed a detailed work plan based on their observation of IFRS in practice. This study was conducted on the basis of analyzing the most recent annual financial statements of 183 countries that were both registered and non-registered members of the SEC. This paper will present a comprehensive review of the presentation of those findings.
In conducting this study the staff members focused on three main sections to formulate its opinion. First, background information used by staff members including the scope, process and limitations of the analysis was obtained. Second, presentation of the findings in the areas of accounting principles, financial statement presentation, accounting methods for the balance sheet and profit and loss items and certain industry-specific matters were disclosed, including but not limited to transparency, accounting standards compliancy and financial statement comparisons. Finally, a summary of the study presented the most recent SEC filings for the majority of the participating countries to disclose their compliancy with financial statement presentation in accordance with IFRS standards.
The 183 countries were selected from the top 500 corporations around the world based on the criteria that their financial statements were prepared according to IFRS standards and were publicly available in the English language. Another criterion for the countries selected was listed by annual revenues resulting in some countries and industries varying in representation....