The Center for Audit Quality has created a free online Guide to International Financial Standards to educate people about the uncertain state of the IFRS roadmap.

“The purpose of the Guide is to provide investors, policymakers and other capital market stakeholders a timely, accessible and objective introduction to the current debate over a single set of high-quality global accounting standards,” said CAQ executive director Cindy Fornelli in a statement.

Last November, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a roadmap outlining key activities that need to be completed prior to U.S. adoption of IFRS. The commission will evaluate progress against these milestones in 2011. At that time, it will decide whether to require mandatory use of IFRS beginning in 2014.

The CAQ developed the Guide to IFRS in recognition of this timeline and the critical decisions that must be made regarding the use of global accounting standards in the U.S. Although the CAQ’s April 9 comment letter to the SEC expressed the belief that investors would benefit if issuers around the world prepared financial statements using a single set of high-quality accounting standards, Fornelli acknowledged that many stakeholders may have questions about the potential impact of adoption of IFRS.

The guide may be accessed at http://www.thecaq.org/publications/GuidetoIFRS.pdf.

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