European internal commissioner Charlie McCreevy recognised that the current early stages of adoption of International Financial Reporting standards (IFRS) raised challenges in application and interpretation speaking at a recent European Federation of Accountants’ seminar on IFRS.
In particular, he said there needed to be broader arrangements for consistent application at company level, and McCreevy mooted the idea of a temporary, informal roundtable to discuss this. Such an arrangement would not make any interpretations, but involve stakeholder representatives reviewing decisions taken by enforcers, said McCreevy.
The commissioner also remarked that a number of important markets had not yet committed to IFRS. McCreevy noted the most important of these as being the US, but also that other major jurisdictions – in particular Japan and China – were seeking greater convergence between their own national accounting standards and IFRS.
Convergence will necessarily take time, said McCreevy, but he was optimistic in the light of US Securities and Exchange Commission plans to remove the US GAAP reconciliation requirement for EU-listed companies in the US. McCreevy suggested IFRS could be accepted in the US by 2009.