Nearly 75 percent of CFOs and senior comptrollers have no experience using International Financial Reporting Standards, while 55 percent are unfamiliar with the Extensible Business Reporting Language, according to a new survey by Grant Thornton.

The findings identify an experience gap that will pose a challenge for the Securities and Exchange Commission as it seeks to promulgate new rules requiring U.S. companies to prepare financial statements in accordance with IFRS, and phasing in the adoption of XBRL by issuers.

Only 2.25 percent of the 222 CFOs and senior comptrollers surveyed said that they currently file reports in XBRL. The SEC announced a proposal on Wednesday to begin requiring companies to file their financial statements in the interactive data-tagging format. When asked if they plan to report using XBRL in the next six months, 85.59 percent of the respondents said no.

When asked if the SEC makes filing in XBRL format mandatory, what would be the first year's results for which they expected the filings to become mandatory, 70.27 percent voted for 2010 or later. The SEC actually plans to start making the filings mandatory over a three-year phase-in schedule starting early next year.

Asked if they believe that accounting standards today are too complex, 69.37 percent said yes, while 27.03 percent said no. Nearly 56 percent of the respondents prefer principles-based standards that provide for the use of professional judgment, while nearly 40 percent prefer rules-based standards that provide detailed guidance.

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