FASB CAUTIOUS ON IFRS MAP

Norwalk, Conn. - The Financial Accounting Standards Board and its parent organization, the Financial Accounting Foundation, have sent a comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission giving a thumbs-up to the proposed roadmap to International Financial Reporting Standards, but they urged more consultation and study.

The letter supported the recommendation in the roadmap for the SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant to conduct a study on the implications of simply adopting IFRS, as opposed to continuing the longer process of converging IFRS with U.S. GAAP.

The FAF and FASB also recommend that the SEC set up a broad-based advisory committee with representatives from the many different parties that have a stake in the U.S. financial reporting system. The advisory committee, if it recommends changing to IFRS, would then be charged with developing and implementing a transition plan or blueprint to minimize the cost and disruptions.

The correspondence also addressed questions about the independence of the International Accounting Standards Board, after the IASB came under pressure last year from the European Union to amend its standards to allow reclassification of certain investment securities.

PCAOB UPS SUPPORT FEE $5.6M

Washington, D.C. - The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has raised the aggregate 2009 fee it assesses on public companies and other issuers to $157.4 million from $151.8 million.

Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the PCAOB is able to annually assess companies an accounting support fee, in proportion to their market capitalization, to fund the board's activities, which include inspecting accounting firms that audit public companies. The hike would increase the fee, which the Securities and Exchange Commission approved in December 2008, by 3.7 percent.

However, the PCAOB does not plan to use the additional funds until both the board and the SEC have approved a supplemental budget.

The fee hike is intended to cover any possible shortfalls in the PCAOB's budget and to avoid sending companies a second bill for its services. PCAOB Chairman Mark Olson had expressed concern about the effects of the economic crisis causing companies to stiff the board on its fees.

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