KPMG has established an IFRS Institute to address the needs of companies, investors and academics affected by the transition to International Financial Reporting Standards.

The goal is to help foster a smooth adoption of the new standards. “As companies expand their reach and economies globalize, the ability to compare financial statements across borders has become imperative,” said KPMG chairman and CEO Timothy P. Flynn in a statement. “The question about whether the world is going to global standards is no longer ‘if,’ but ‘when.’”

The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to issue a rule proposal in the next few weeks outlining the manner, timing and eligibility for some U.S. public companies to transition from U.S. generally accepted accounting principles to IFRS.

The institute will hold its inaugural IFRS webcast on May 1, 2008. It will be hosted by KPMG partner Janice Patrisso, who has been named director of the IFRS Institute. Other participants will include Sam Ranzilla, a partner and head of the U.S. firm’s professional practice department; Mary Tokar, a partner and head of the KPMG International Financial Reporting Group; and Tricia O'Malley, director of implementation activities, and former board member, of the International Accounting Standards Board.

The initiatives planned and under way for the IFRS Institute include Web-based videocasts, podcasts, surveys, roundtables, forums, conferences, educational seminars, e-learning programs and publications that explore accounting developments and emerging issues related to IFRS.

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