Friday, September 2, 2011

Small Business Owners: IFRS Offers No Benefit for Us

Is small business clamoring for a change from GAAP-based reporting standards to IFRS. Not to hear small business owners tell it. Speaking at a roundtable conference organized by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, executives from several small public companies and their auditors said that a shift to international financial reporting standards would be of little—if any—benefit, would prove costly, and should not be done precipitously. One panelist summed up the views of those on the panel by saying, “we have nothing to say positively at all” about U.S. use of IFRS. “All it's going to do is cost us money.”

The smaller companies declared that very few of their investors are asking for a switch to IFRS or see any real advantage in it. Further, from the perspective of private companies, banks are the only entities routinely requiring audited financial statements but they are concerned almost solely with cash flow, regardless of the accounting rules used to report it, according to panelists.

The bottom line: show us where the benefit is before we spend time and money changing our financial practices.

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