SEC Announces Roundtable Discussions Regarding International Financial Reporting Standards


Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2007 - The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it will host two roundtable discussions in December on issues surrounding the growing prevalence of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The first roundtable, on Dec. 13, 2007, will address the issues arising from the current co-existence of two accounting standards in the U.S. markets — a development that has been accelerated by Europe's decision to mandate IFRS for all public companies beginning in 2005. Under current rules, public companies with U.S. listings that are domiciled in other countries often use IFRS. The roundtable will consist of two panels, which will look at the effect of allowing foreign companies the choice of whether to use IFRS or U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP), and denying that same choice to U.S. issuers. The first panel will explore these issues primarily from the perspective of U.S. investors, issuers, and markets, and the second panel primarily from the perspective of the global markets.

The second roundtable, on Dec. 17, 2007, will focus on the practical issues surrounding the possible future use of IFRS by U.S. companies. The first panel will explore these issues primarily from the perspective of U.S. investors, issuers, and markets. The second panel will discuss the experience of those global markets and foreign companies that have already completed the transition to IFRS.

"For several years, U.S. investors have witnessed the growing use of IFRS in U.S. markets by overseas companies with U.S. listings," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "In effect, for the last few years U.S. investors have been dealing with two competing accounting systems — IFRS for many U.S. listed companies from overseas, and U.S. GAAP for domestic issuers. The mandatory use of IFRS throughout Europe and increasingly throughout the world requires us to consider the impacts on our domestic markets."

The roundtables will begin at 9 a.m. ET and will be held in the Auditorium at the Commission's headquarters at 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C. The roundtables will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and visitors will be subject to security checks. The roundtable discussions also will be available via webcast on the Commission's Web site at

The agendas for the roundtables and the list of participants are accessible at

The Commission welcomes feedback regarding any of the topics to be addressed at the roundtables. The information that is submitted will become part of the public record of the roundtables. Submissions to the Commission may be provided by any of the following methods:

Electronic submissions:

Paper submissions:

All submissions should refer to File Number 4-552. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help process and review submissions more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all submissions on its Web site at

Please note that all submissions received will be posted without change; the SEC does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. Only information desired to be shared publicly should be submitted.