The majority of executives in a new survey see a need for greater clarity about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s plans for International Financial Reporting Standards, according to a new survey by KPMG.

Last month, the SEC reiterated its support for a single set of high-quality globally accepted accounting standards, and said it would develop a work plan that would allow it to decide next year on whether to incorporate IFRS into the U.S. financial reporting system, possibly starting in 2015 (see SEC Votes on Work Plan for Incorporating IFRS).

Nearly half of the executives polled by KPMG would like an option for early adoption once the SEC decides to require or permit U.S. companies to use IFRS.

“The SEC’s recent statement supporting a single set of high-quality global financial reporting standards and ongoing consideration of the incorporation of IFRS into the U.S. financial reporting system has focused executives on what this change would mean for their organizations,” said KPMG national IFRS leader Janice Patrisso in a statement. “While some uncertainty remains, companies are not slowing their IFRS conversion activities, with 49 percent of respondents saying they’d like the ability to adopt IFRS earlier than the anticipated 2015 or 2016 implementation date targeted by the SEC work plan and only 18 percent saying they will delay their IFRS plans based on the SEC’s Feb. 24 announcement.”

The poll was taken during a webcast attended by more than 2,500 executives two days after the SEC’s announcement. Fifty-nine percent of respondents indicated that the potential IFRS implementation in 2015-16 would give their organizations enough time to prepare for the change. Only 15 percent indicated it would not be enough time, with a quarter unsure of the impact.

While executives were comfortable with the timetable, the majority of respondents said they needed more clarity on the SEC’s plans. Eighty-two percent said the SEC action either did not provide enough clarity on how IFRS would be implemented for U.S. companies (29 percent) or they were undecided (53 percent) about whether the SEC statement helped clarify matters. Only 16 percent of respondents believed the SEC provided enough clarity on where the United States was going on IFRS.On the question of general support for U.S. adoption of IFRS, 41 percent of respondents said the SEC should adopt IFRS, versus 22 percent who said the agency should not, with the remaining 36 percent undecided.

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