Schapiro voices support for
global accounting standards

The chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has
said she remains committed to the goal of a global set of
high-quality accounting standards.

Speaking at an International
Organization of Securities Commissions conference in Switzerland
this month, Mary Schapiro said the financial crisis has highlighted
the importance of implementing and enforcing high quality and
consistent accounting standards around the world.

“I remain committed to the goal of a
global set of high-quality accounting standards,” she said. “I also
believe that there are issues that will be critical to address as
we at the SEC consider the input we have received on last year’s
proposed road map on the role of international standards in the

IAASB launches consultation on
greenhouse gas standard

The International Auditing and
Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is seeking views on the
development of a new assurance standard on green house gas (GHG)
statements. The project seeks to enhance the consistency and
quality of performance by practitioners on assurance engagements to
report on this information, whether produced for regulators,
legislators or investors.

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Assurance on a Greenhouse Gas
asks a series of questions addressing such matters
as the form of assurance report that users would find most useful,
the nature and extent of requirements, how a standard should best
integrate with regulatory requirements, and technical aspects of
applying the assurance process to GHG emissions.

An exposure draft is scheduled for
release next year.

IASB and FASB hold out hope for
fair value convergence

The International Accounting Standards
Board and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board were unable
to resolve their differing opinions on the extent that financial
instruments are measured at fair value at a meeting in the US this

According to US media reports, the
boards agreed to explore ways to facilitate easy comparisons if the
rules in IFRS and US GAAP differ.

IASB chair David Tweedie also claimed
that if the rules are not identical by 2010 they should be
“appreciably together”.

EFRAG to fast track
financial instruments advice

The European Financial Reporting
Advisory Group (EFRAG) will fast track endorsement advice on a new
global accounting standard for classifying and measuring financial
instruments. The decision is based on a European Commission request
to have a standard in place for listed companies to apply for 2009
year end reports. The International Accounting Standards Board’s
project to replace IAS 39 Financial Instruments – Recognition and
Measurement has three phases and the board plans to issue this
first standard early next month. EFRAG plans to finalise EC
endorsement advice by 17 November.

Islamic finance group plans
framework update

The Accounting and Auditing
Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) plans to
update standards on the conceptual framework for financial
reporting and accounting for investments for the international
Islamic finance industry. Exposure drafts were expected to be
distributed before the end of October.

“AAOIFI has developed the updated
standards to further support the expansion of Islamic finance
industry and promote international best practices,” AAOIFI
secretary general Mohamad Nedal Alchaar said.

Mixed response to IFRS in

Two in five US chief financial
officers and senior comptrollers do not believe US companies should
ever have to use IFRS, according to new research from Grant
Thornton US. Another 39 percent said US companies should start
using IFRS in three to five years. Only 7 percent want to start
using it immediately. The biannual study surveyed 846 chief
financial officers and senior comptrollers from 21 September to 2

FASB initiates non-for-profit group

The US Financial Accounting Standards
Board is to create a Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee (NAC). The
NAC will seek comment from the not-for-profit sector on existing
guidance, current and proposed technical agenda projects, and
longer-term issues affecting those organisations. The 12 to 15
member committee will be formed from the not-for-profit sector
early next year, with its first meeting taking place in the middle
of 2010.