International Accounting Standards Board
(IASB) chairman Hans Hoogervorst said the convergence process with
the US has “served its purpose but now it is time to move on”.
Speaking at the IFRS foundation conference in
Melbourne, Australia Hoogervorst noted that the IASB and Financial
Accounting Standard Board (FASB) convergence project has been
“extremely” useful in improving IFRSs and US GAAP but he warned
convergence “does not always result in the highest quality
Hoogervorst said the US Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) has nearly completed its assessment of
the issues related to US adoption of IFRSs recognising the
tremendous progress that the boards have made in bringing IFRSs and
US GAAP into alignment.
However, the paper also shows some differences
remain many of which are “not very important” but “getting rid of
them through a process of convergence could take up many, many
years,” Hoogervorst said.
In relation to the outstanding joint projects
he called the financial instruments accounting a “difficult” one as
despite beginning the project in alignment the two standard setters
“ended up in different places”.
As such he said both the IASB and FASB will
require additional disclosures to help with comparability, which is
not an ideal outcome. However, he said there has been “good”
progress in areas such as hedge accounting and impairment.
Discussing the IASB’s recent decision to
conduct a limited review of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, the
chief standard setter noted the IASB “gradually came to the
conclusion that we could make a lot of progress on both issues –
insurance and convergence – by adapting IFRS 9 in a limited