IFRS Convergence: 'Bring It On'

Despite the aimed at blending International Financial Reporting Standards and U.S. GAAP, it's time for companies to start getting ready for a new financial reporting regime. At least, that's the conclusion of participants at this week.

As FASB and IASB take additional time to iron out the major areas of disagreement between GAAP and IFRS, CFOs have a window of opportunity to get ready for major changes to their accounting practices, according to participants at a KPMG webcast.

The two boards, U.S. and international, announced last month that they would be unable to meet a June 30 deadline for convergence, particularly on high-priority items such as financial instruments, leasing, revenue and insurance.

In the wake of concerns raised by stakeholders, FASB chair Leslie Seidman and Sir David Tweedie, her IASB counterpart, admitted that this deadline would slip "by a few additional months," saying in that the delay was necessary to ensure that converged standards would "meet the test of time" and provide "high-quality information."

Convergence on leasing and revenues during the second half of 2011 is still a "reasonable expectation," according to Paul Munter, KPMG partner and national IFRS professional practice leader,who moderated the webcast panel. But joint action on financial instruments and insurance standards is likely to take longer, he said.