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GAAP, IFRS, FASB, SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission, IASB, Uniform Global Accounting Standards
In the United States of America (US), all the accounting procedures and guidelines for measurement and reporting by business firms are governed by a body of principles and concepts known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). These GAAP are presently issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) with the authority delegated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Historically, each country developed its own GAAP and there was no uniformity among the GAAPs of different countries. Comparison of financial statements issued by business firms from different countries has become impossible leading toward suboptimal capital allocation across countries in the world. Gradually, with the advent of multinational corporations, there emerged a global demand for convergence of GAAP of different countries into a single set uniform accounting standards applicable to all countries. Initiative for uniform global accounting standards came from International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) which was established in 1973. The IASC formed International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in 2001 which began issuing International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS). Till now about 100 countries have adopted IFRS for their financial reporting purposes. The SEC has yielded to the global pressure to adopt IFRS in the US. SEC has set a timeline for US business firms to change over from US GAAP to IFRS. This paper presents the background and development of the movement of IFRS, timeline for the change in US and the implications involved in the adoption of IFRS in the US.