The Securities and Exchange Commission was somewhat ambivalent last August when it approved a "roadmap" towards accepting International Financial Reporting Standards for U.S. publicly held companies.Indeed, several months after agreeing on the framework for its ultimate mandate of IFRS accounting beginning in 2014, the regulator still hadn't published an official document outlining its decision. But that apparently isn't dampening accounting firms' commitment to gearing up for IFRS, or to alerting clients to IFRS's sweeping ramifications.

And while the U.S. divisions of the top firms with multinational clients have been moving full speed ahead on IFRS for many months and even years - leveraging the expertise of professionals who already work with IFRS-compliant European clients - the time to act is now for second-tier firms with middle-market and even smaller privately held clients to plunge into the IFRS fray.

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