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February 23, 2012

Hoogervorst optimistic about US IFRS conversion

International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) chairman Hans Hoogervorst is optimistic international accounting standards will soon be adopted in the US with Japan and India not being far behind.

Hoogervorst warned the scale of pain felt by companies going through the process of replacing US GAAP could feel like “Chinese water torture” if IFRS adoption was carried out piecemeal. The chief standard setter noted there needs to be a clear end point to the process.

Speaking at the Economist CFO Summit in London, Hoogervorst told delegates US Securities and Exchange Commission chief accountant James Kroeker had been positive about the odds of the US adopting IFRS and that a decision will be made in the Spring.

Hoogervorst cautioned that he did not expect the US to adopt IFRS “lock, stock and barrel” within the next three years and that advice would be sought from the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Hoogervorst said the European Commission’s plans to further safeguard the audit market were a step in the right direction, specifically plans to speed up the rotation of auditors and limit the amount of non-audit services accountancy firms provide to audit clients.

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