Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox said he expects to see the SEC start allowing U.S. companies to file financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards in the year ahead.

"Allowing filing in IFRS for U.S. issuers is something we want to accomplish this year," he said at a speech before a European-American Business Council leadership breakfast, according to Thomson Tax & Accounting's Accounting & Compliance Alert.

Cox also believes that federal regulators should devise a "roadmap" to move U.S. companies toward IFRS. "Investors need a common language," he said.

Cox and Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner for Internal Markets, were being honored by the council. McCreevy is worried that the spillover of trouble with the U.S. credit and mortgage markets to Europe could undermine cooperation between the U.S. and Europe on coordinating their financial regulation bodies. He wants to see an early warning system set up to give more time to prepare for market turmoil.

Cox and McCreevy plan to work together on an EU-U.S. mutual recognition system for securities to give investors access to a broader range of information about the international markets, allow them to better diversify their portfolios, cut transatlantic trading expenses and enable better coordination of international regulators. The two officials also promoted the move toward adoption of interactive Extensible Business Reporting Language tags for financial statements.

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