The Securities and Exchange Commission has released two eagerly anticipated staff papers comparing International Financial Reporting Standards with U.S. GAAP and analyzing IFRS in practice at foreign companies.

The two documents, posted on the SEC’s Web site on Wednesday, are crucial steps in the SEC’s work plan for considering the possible incorporation of IFRS into the U.S. financial reporting system. The SEC commissioners are expected to issue a statement by the end of the year, and perhaps vote, on whether or not IFRS can be adopted by U.S. companies or whether the converged standards will be gradually endorsed, or “condorsed,” to make them part of U.S. GAAP.

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