2009 Forum on Contemporary Accounting Issues

The Lubin School of Business at Pace University
and the Center for the Study of International Accounting Standards
present the

2009 LUBIN FORUM ON CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTING ISSUES
in conjunction with
The International Accounting Standards Board

INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS:
GOING FROM THE TALK TO DOING THE WALK


[Annual Accounting Conference 2009]
featuring (left to right) Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., Global CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Robert Herz, Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); Tom Jones, Vice Chairman of the
International Accounting Standards Board; and Edward Nusbaum, Chief
Executive Officer and Executive Partner of Grant Thornton

Thursday, April 30, 2009

>> Streaming video clips of the Accounting Forum
>> Photos and highlights from the Forum
>> Keynote Speaker biographies
>> Conference agenda
>> Press coverage

Conference Takeaway:
Accounting firm leaders, standard-setters and industry accountants agree that it is not the job of accountants to promote and ensure economic stability. Decisions pertaining to economic stability are best left to a country's policymakers. PricewaterhouseCoopers global CEO Samuel DiPiazza Jr. took issue with the notion that accounting standards, such as those for fair value measurement, should be adjusted to make it easier for banks to show more positive results. "I don't think our job is stability, I think it's transparency," he said.

"Job No. 1 is to create transparency for the investor."

Most of the participants at the conference, which addressed the issue of whether the U.S. is ready to jump on the IFRS train, agree that IFRS are of high quality and the convergence project is hurdling some of the road blocks that heretofore were impeding progress. However, waiting for full convergence is not the answer. "I think the SEC needs to do a very thorough study from a public policy point of view of the impacts on our financial system and our economy," Bob Herz, Chairman of FASB, said. Herz further opined, "I am not clear that the public policy case has been made in this country yet for there to be an adoption type process." Grant Thornton CEO Ed Nusbaum added, "I don't think there is a groundswell coming from Main Street."

Many of the participants felt that it is time that the new SEC chief, Mary Schapiro, clear up the uncertainty surrounding the move, if ever, to IFRS by U.S. companies. "A year ago we felt like we had a lot of momentum," said Patrick Edgar, an audit partner with KPMG. Some of his clients were ready to ramp up their transition efforts back then, but now given the uncertainty about the roadmap handed down by her predecessor Cox, they have pulled back and are not investing money in converting to IFRS so quickly asserted Edgar.

 Press coverage:

International Accounting Standards: Going from the Talk to Doing the Walk, CPA Journal, July 2009
Interview with Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., WebCPA, June 18, 2009
Accountants Uncertain About IFRS Roadmap, WebCPA, May 4, 2009
FASB head urges decision on international accounting, Reuters, April 30, 2009
FASB to Act on Off-Balance-Sheet Rule Change by June, Herz Says , Bloomberg.com, April 30, 2009


Streaming Video (.wmv):


Photos and Highlights from the
2009 LUBIN FORUM ON CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTING ISSUES
Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lubin's Dean Joseph R. Baczko welcoming the conference participants.
  [Accounting Conference]
[Accounting Conference]  

Dr. Rudy Jacob, chair of the Accounting department, making introductory remarks.
[Accounting Conference]
Keynoter Tom Jones, vice chairman of IASB, emphasized the IASB's resistance to writing as many rules as those under U.S. GAAP. "When you write rules, smart people can get around them," he noted during his interview with Alan Murray from the Wall Street Journal.
[Accounting Conference]
"You have to look at what the economic cost is to us as a country, if we are the outlier," she said. "Where is U.S. GAAP [Generally Accepted Accounting Principles] going to fit? I don't see it being economically sustainable."
— Danita Ostling (left), partner and Americas IFRS leader, Ernst & Young
[Accounting Conference]
(left to right) Panelists Wendy M. Hambleton, Partner & National SEC Director, BDO Seidman; D.J. Gannon, National Leadership Partner - IFRS Center of Excellence, Deloitte & Touche; moderator Mary-Jo Kranacher, Editor-in-Chief, The CPA Journal; Richard A. Fuchs, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Samir M. El-Gazzar, KPMG Professor of Accounting, Lubin School of Business; Patrick G. Edgar, Audit & SEC Reviewing Partner, KPMG; Chris Craig, Partner, Grant Thornton
[Accounting Conference]
"[Some clients] want certainty ... Five to seven years is sufficient time for most people to get through what they have to get through."
— D.J. Gannon
[Accounting Conference]
"The Full Employment Act for Accountants would be to have 60 different sets of standards ... I don't think our job is stability, I think it's transparency. Job No. 1 is to create transparency for the investor."
Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., Global CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers
[Accounting Conference]
Samuel DiPiazza (center) and Richard Fuchs (right), Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, talking with participants during the luncheon.
[Accounting Conference]
"I think the SEC needs to do a very thorough study from a public policy point of view of the impacts on our financial system and our economy. I am not clear that the public policy case has yet been made in this country for there to be an adoption type process. Most people seem to be arguing (for) continued convergence until the two sets of standards get identical. I think trying to get every nook and cranny, particularly all the nooks and crannies of U.S. GAAP, could take quite a long period of time."
Robert Herz, Chairman, Financial Accounting Standards Board
[Accounting Conference]
"I don't think there is a groundswell coming from Main Street," said Grant Thornton CEO, Ed Nusbaum, about Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed roadmap for transitioning to IFRS from U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
[Accounting Conference]
(left to right) Tom Jones, Rudy Jacob, Patrick Edgar, and Alan Murray
[Accounting Conference]
Joe Baczko and Rudy Jacob