Global Accounting Standards? Not So Fast

Under growing pressure from Europe to jettison certain accounting practices, some fear that investors' interests may not be well served

The uproar over fair value accounting practices, which some critics have blamed for the depths of the global financial crisis, threatens to sink a long-sought move by countries around the world toward a single set of international financial reporting standards (IFRS). The U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has been working with London's International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) since 2002 toward what accounting professionals call convergence. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to announce its road map for conversion sometime this month, which will probably include early adoption in 2010 for about 110 of the largest U.S. companies with business operations throughout the world.

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