Faculty at colleges and universities nationwide say U.S. educators should spend more time teaching global accounting standards, if they don't want their students to be at a disadvantage in the global marketplace, according to a new survey by the American Accounting Association and KPMG LLP.

Seventy-seven percent of the 800 faculty respondents say accounting educators should continue to teach U.S. GAAP but that they need to focus more on the concepts of International Financial Reporting Standards [IFRS]. Seven out of 10 respondents said they believe that U.S. students will be at a disadvantage otherwise.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents expect the CPA Examination will include significant IFRS coverage by 2013. Seventy-eight percent of the survey’s participants expect the class of 2013 or later to have a working knowledge of IFRS.

Few survey respondents (only 12 percent) believe IFRS will be adopted in place of U.S. GAAP by 2016.  However, results are more mixed when it comes to convergence – 43 percent believe convergence of U.S. GAAP and IFRS will occur with substantial equivalence by 2016; 39 percent expect convergence of U.S. GAAP and IFRS with substantial equivalence achieved only after 2016.

While nearly three quarters of the respondents say their school has already taken significant steps to incorporate IFRS into their curriculum, only one-third believe it has been done adequately.


Lack of room in the curriculum and a dearth of teaching materials are blamed as the major impediments.

Half of the faculty participants said the best way they would prepare to teach IFRS would be through attending IFRS-focused sessions at conferences or participating in IFRS webcasts.