The reaction was prompted by news this week that the SEC is demanding that a new IASC should take its lead from the structure of FASB and reject the current plans for a single board comprising 25 full- and part-time members. The US is also refusing to accept international accounting standards without reconciliation to US GAAP as a basis for financial reporting. Companies want to compile accounts across the world using a single standard. The international securities body, IOSCO, is currently debating the use of international standards for cross-border listing purposes but there can be no approval without the backing of the US. ASB technical director Allan Cook said: 'Time is getting short and the longer they wait, the more continental European companies will adopt US GAAP but these standards do not necessarily fit the rest of the world.' However, there are also fears that the deadlock could result in a battle between the two sides, which do not share a common set of priorities, and result in the US pulling out of the development of the IASC which would weaken the new body. Cook said that he hoped an agreement could be reached. These sentiments were echoed by SEC international senior associate chief accountant Mary Tokar, who said the organisation was working hard to modify its listing rules for IAS purposes. She said the SEC's view of a new IASC was based upon the personal experience of the country with the pre-FASB body, the Accounting Principles Board, which was composed of part-time volunteers. Tokar said it was important that the new IASC should have only full-time members in fewer numbers. But little headway has yet been made in changing the strict listing requirements for US companies, and the SEC defended its detailed rules because of the size of the capital market and the need for more analytical information. News extra, page 5.
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