Sign Up

Sign Up to our social questions and Answers Engine to ask questions, answer people’s questions, and connect with other people.

Sign In

Login to our social questions & Answers Engine to ask questions answer people’s questions & connect with other people.

Forgot Password

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email.

You must login to ask question.

Please briefly explain why you feel this question should be reported.

Please briefly explain why you feel this answer should be reported.

Please briefly explain why you feel this user should be reported.

How Does US Accounting Differ From International Accounting?

US Accounting vs International Accounting

Interest in international accounting began to grow in the late 1950s and early 1960s due to post World War II economic integration and the related increase in cross-border capital flows. Instead, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission mandates that publicly traded corporations in the United States adhere to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). On 26 June 2023 the ISSB issued its inaugural standards—IFRS S1 and S2—ushering in a new era of sustainability-related disclosures in capital markets worldwide. While U.S. companies use GAAP and do not directly use IFRS for their SEC filings, IFRS nevertheless impacts them. For example, in cases of global mergers and acquisitions, when they have non-US subsidiaries or non-US stakeholders like investors, customers or vendors.

  • Many of those were countries that lacked their own standard-setting infrastructure.
  • While the difference between national and international accounting standards continues to shrink, the differences that still exist are significant.
  • Given that the IASC used remote
    in both IAS 31 and IAS 37, there is no evidence that the standard
    writer intended for the nondisclosure threshold to be higher in one
    standard than in the other; yet the French version gives that impression.
  • Efforts have been made by both the FASB and IASB to converge the two sets of principles since 2002.
  • Under GAAP, development costs are expensed as incurred, with the exception of internally developed software.

The proposed Roadmap identified several milestones that, if achieved, would support eliminating the reconciliation. One of those milestones was the continued progress of the IASB/FASB convergence program (Nicholiasen’s Speech). The United States has a long history of doing things differently than other countries.

Global. Influential. Trusted.

As a result, the AICPA has urged the SEC to set a “date certain” for any future IFRS adoption provided that certain key milestones are achieved. GAAP prescribes that interest paid and interest received should be classified as operating activities, while international standards are a bit more flexible. Under IFRS, a firm can choose its own policy for classifying interest based on what it considers to be appropriate. Interest paid can be placed in either the operating or financing section of the cash flow statement, and interest received in the operating or investing sections. One of the key differences between these two accounting standards is the accounting method for inventory costs. Under IFRS, the LIFO (Last in First out) method of calculating inventory is not allowed.

US Accounting vs International Accounting

Read on, and find out more about what global accounting is and why it is a popular choice. Pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC issued a Policy Statement that reaffirmed the FASB as the private-sector accounting standard setter for the U.S. The generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are regarded to be more rule-based, whereas the international financial reporting standards (IFRS) are thought to be more principle-based. There are some key differences between how corporate finances are governed in the US and abroad.

What are generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)?

Three methods that companies use to value inventory are FIFO, LIFO, and weighted inventory. The focus of this publication is primarily on recognition, measurement and presentation. However, it also covers areas that are disclosure-based, such as segment reporting. Debts that the company expects to repay within the next 12 months are classified as current liabilities, while debts whose repayment period exceeds 12 months are classified as long-term liabilities. On the contrary, IFRS sets forth principles that companies should follow and interpret to the best of their judgment.

As with all jobs in the EU, too, the number of hours worked is far fewer than in North America. In late 2007, the FASB and the IASB completed their first major joint project and issued substantially converged standards on business combinations (News Release). In response to calls for improvements in the governance, funding, and independence of the IASC, it was reconstituted into the IASB. The IASB’s structure and operations resulted from the efforts of a strategy working party formed in 1998. The governance, oversight, and standard-setting processes of the IASB are similar to those of the FASB. In 1995, the FASB updated its strategic plan for international activities, essentially affirming the strategic goals and action plans set forth in 1991.

The FASB and IASC Undertake Their First Collaborative Standard-Setting Effort

With regards to how revenue is recognized, IFRS is more general, as compared to GAAP. The latter starts by determining whether revenue has been realized or earned, and it has specific rules on how revenue is recognized across multiple industries. However, if the market value later increases, only IFRS allows the earlier write-down to be reversed.

Beginning in the 1990s, efforts to harmonize accounting standards internationally evolved into a broad convergence effort. In 2001, the IASC was restructured into the IASB; and by 2009, the European Union and over 100 other countries had adopted international standards or a local variant of them. Several other countries, including Canada, Korea, India and Brazil, had committed to adopt international standards by 2011. In 2002, the FASB and IASB embarked on a partnership to improve and converge U.S. In late 2008, the SEC issued a proposed Roadmap that, if adopted, could result in the mandatory use of international standards by U.S. This paper examines the interplay between leading international and American accounting authorities over the span of a critical four-year period, 2001–2005.

Inventory Valuation Methods

Last in, first out (LIFO) is an inventory method where a company records its most recently produced products as sold first. This means that the cost of the most recent items produced or purchased are expensed first, in order to benefit from lower taxes. Free access is also available to the latest translations of Standards, excluding the accompanying documents (illustrative examples, implementation guidance and bases for conclusions). The new accounting standard provides greater transparency but requires wide-ranging data gathering.

The Concept Release sought public input on whether to give U.S. public companies the option of using IFRS as issued by the IASB in their financial statements filed with the SEC (Concept Release). The SEC issued a press release stating its intent to consider the acceptability of IASC standards as the basis for the financial reports of foreign private issuers. To be accepted by the SEC, the IASC standards would have to be (1) sufficiently comprehensive, (2) high-quality, and (3) rigorously interpreted and applied. Since the IASB has taken the position of the IASC, there has been tremendous movement in the direction of the development of a single, comprehensive, and high-quality set of worldwide accounting standards.


The International Accounting Standards Committee
Foundation (IASCF) created an official translation process in 1997,
and IFRS was first officially translated into German. Translations
primarily have been into European languages, but Chinese, Japanese and
Arabic translations also have been made. The statement of position describes a company’s shareholder equity, assets, and liabilities.

Why does America not use IFRS?

There is virtually no support to have the SEC mandate IFRS for all registrants. There is little support for the SEC to provide an option allowing domestic registrants to prepare their financial statements under IFRS.

The IFRS vs US GAAP refers to two accounting standards and principles adhered to by countries in the world in relation to financial reporting. More than 110 countries follow the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which encourages uniformity in preparing financial statements. Efforts have been made by both the FASB and IASB to converge the two sets of principles since 2002. Since 2007, foreign companies in the US have been able to forgo reconciling financial statements with the GAAP if their accounts already comply with the IFRS, for Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting specifically. Eventually, the US is expected to shift towards international standards, but doing so is a long process. If you’re doing business internationally, it’s important to understand the difference between national and international accounting standards.

Companies enjoy some leeway to make different interpretations of the same situation. While a loss is often permanent, the value of an asset may increase again if the impairing factor is no longer present. GAAP doesn’t allow companies to re-evaluate the asset to its original price in these cases. In contrast, IFRS allows some assets to be evaluated up to their original price and adjusted for depreciation. Research & development, or R&D, is a large expense in many industry sectors.

US Accounting vs International Accounting

The best specialists will be experienced in both managerial accounting and financial accounting but will also know taxation and financial accounting. Under the International Financial Reporting Standards, much of the developed world uses the same guidelines throughout. Those standards are transparent and consistent, which makes it far easier to work with companies in multiple countries than it is to work with companies in the United States.

Leave a comment