Norwalk, Conn. - The International Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board have accelerated their 2006 memorandum of understanding and set a goal of completing their major joint projects on convergence of International Financial Reporting Standards with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles by 2011.

The work is being sped up in part because of the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed roadmap for moving U.S. companies' financial statement reporting from GAAP to IFRS starting in 2014. The state of convergence between the two sets of standards will be one of the milestones that the SEC will take into account at a meeting in 2011 before finalizing the roadmap.

IASB Chairman David Tweedie noted that other countries have their own convergence plans set for 2011. "A number of jurisdictions, including Canada, India, Japan and Korea, have announced plans to adopt or converge with IFRS from 2011," he said in a statement. "Completing the MoU beforehand will avoid the need for those jurisdictions to make major changes shortly afterwards as MoU projects are completed."

Among the major issues set for convergence in 2011 are financial statement preparation, leases and revenue recognition. FASB Chairman Robert Herz said that the two boards would decide by the end of this year whether to modify their short-term convergence program to focus more on the major improvement efforts.


New York - Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has released three new guides to help companies make the transition to International Financial Reporting Standards. The first, 10 Minutes on Transitioning to IFRS, offers a quick guide to the most important issues in IFRS transition, including how management communicates with investors post-transition, how some companies may need to change their business practices with customers and vendors, and how the transition will affect compensation.

Mapping the Change: IFRS Implementation Guide walks business leaders through the three phases of conversion, including the preliminary assessment, the initial conversion and incorporating IFRS changes into day-to-day operations, while Preparing Your First IFRS Financial Statement: Adopting IFRS looks more closely at the first year of adoption, detailing the requirements of IFRS 1, the international standard for transition. The publication provides key considerations for U.S. companies, as well as guidance and answers to frequently asked questions.


Diversified products and services concern Ashland Inc. has retained Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as its auditor for 2009. PwC succeeds Ernst & Young as the company's independent accountant.

In a filing, Covington, Ky.-based Ashland said that the decision to change independent accountants was not the result of any disagreement over accounting matters or principles.


Quantum Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of data storage products and services, has jettisoned Ernst & Young as its auditor and named PricewaterhouseCoopers as its replacement. An SEC filing said that the auditor change was not the result of a disagreement with E&Y on any accounting matter.

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