The FINANCIAL — The President and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, David Hirschmann, on November 17 issued the following statement in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) publication of the proposed roadmap to convert the United States from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
“The SEC has taken an important step in a long process by laying out a roadmap to a global accounting system. If done right, companies, investors, and all capital market participants would benefit from a single, transparent, predictable, and well-functioning global financial reporting system. But make no mistake, there are significant questions that still must be addressed. The difficult work is just beginning. We need to do this, but more importantly, we need to do this right.
“The challenges to achieving these goals are significant. The costs to business and the economy of training and transition must be contained. The needs of smaller businesses must be addressed. Appropriate governance and standard setting processes must be established to assure uniform and effective enforcement. Tax issues and the burdens of litigation must be resolved, as well as the financial reporting needs of specific industries, including insurance and energy.
“Accounting standards have real life consequences, as we have seen during the current financial crisis. We need a modern, coherent regulatory structure, and that includes a single global financial reporting system.”
The Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competiveness has developed a robust agenda to address the short and long-term challenges faced by our markets.