Few CPAs are trying to learn or implement International Financial Reporting Standards until the Securities and Exchange Commission decides next year on whether to approve incorporating IFRS into the U.S. financial reporting system, according to a new survey.

The survey, by the American Institute of CPAs and released at the AICPA’s Fall Meeting of Council, found that familiarity with IFRS by CPAs in industry and public practice has remained essentially the same since a survey in May at the last council meeting. The 1,620 respondents indicated they are delaying implementation while awaiting SEC action. The AICPA members surveyed largely support adoption of IFRS, but they desire more convergence first. Members believe a 2015-2016 adoption date would allow enough time for implementation, if the SEC decides in 2011 to require IFRS.

Only about half the respondents were aware of IFRS for SMEs, the streamlined set of standards for small and midsized enterprises promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Board. In addition, 47 percent of the respondents said they were unsure if they would consider adopting IFRS for SMEs.

Members are about evenly spread between those who think that the pace of change for convergence is too fast, about right, or are unsure. Few believe the pace is too slow. Half of the members surveyed said they will wait for final standards on revenue recognition and leases to be issued before studying the implications for their companies or clients.

Eighty-three percent of the respondents believe standard setters should allow for extended mandatory effective dates for major convergence projects, with 43 percent saying at least two years will be needed.

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