The second panel discussion at the Lubin Forum on Contemporary Accounting Issues brought together a broad spectrum of professionals to discuss whether adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will result in clarity or more confusion for investors. Many of the panelist agreed that integrated global standards have potential to facilitate international business in the long run. There are many wrinkles that still need to be ironed out out, however, including how to move from rules-based to principles-based accounting, who will regulate the process, and how companies and educators should begin to prepare for the transition. Much of the discussion focused on the bumps that are possible along the complex road to convergence. One concern is that IFRS will be splintered as various jurisdictions "carve out" parts of the standards they don't like. Some panelists expressed reservations about IFRS providing investors with adequate information using an accounting philosophy that's fundamentally different from what has been used in the US.
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