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GAAP, IFRS, International Accounting Standards Board, SEC, Convergence, Endorsement, Condorsement
Historically, each country developed its own Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for financial accounting and reporting and there was no uniformity among the GAAPs of different countries. Comparison of financial statements issued by business firms from different countries has become difficult leading toward suboptimal capital allocation across countries in the world. Gradually, there emerged a global demand for convergence of GAAP of different countries into a single set uniform accounting standards applicable to all countries. As a result, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) was established in 1973. The IASC formed International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in 2001 which began issuing International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS). At this point about 100 countries have adopted IFRS for their financial reporting purposes. In 2010, the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) stated that it would be able to make a decision on the adoption of the IFRS in the United States within that year and would allow a five-year period for complete transition, if it is decided to incorporate the IFRS into the U S reporting standards. An intense debate ensued for and against incorporation of IFRS into the US GAAP. Four alternative processes are suggested for the transition - outright adoption, convergence, endorsement, and co-endorsement. This paper presents details of each of these suggested alternatives and future perspective of the adoption of IFRS into the U S accounting and reporting system.