IFRS in the US: the investors perspective
This report discusses the findings of a survey of US investors’ perceptions of IFRS and the prospects for convergence. It shows that, if the US were to move towards convergence, as most investors expect, a successful transition would hinge on investor education and communications, a clear framework for auditors and the accounting profession, and an appropriate level of US influence over the standard-setting process.
The most significant challenges identified by investors are the one-off transition matters, while longer-term concerns are rated less highly.
The most informed investors polled believe it will take US corporates some four and a half years to be ready for IFRS. They ask that convergence plans aim for full convergence, allowing adequate time for investors and industry to adjust.
Awareness of IFRS among US-based investors is modest - when asked, only 34% of investors felt able to cite specific differences between US GAAP and IFRS.
However, 38% of investors said they were comfortable comparing statements prepared under IFRS with statements prepared under US GAAP.
Investors saw marginal differences between IFRS and US GAAP, with 22% of investors claiming that the quality of disclosures under IFRS are higher, against 25% who favoured US GAAP.
Among investors with a solid understanding of IFRS, however, the balance shifts to 40% to 21% in favour of IFRS.