Mario Christodoulou, Accountancy Age, Friday 21 May 2010 at 09:30:00

SEC chief outlines her stance in speech to accountants

The head of the US markets watchdog has sought to put to rest myths andrumours about the US commitment to international standards, in wide rangingspeech to the nation?s most prominent accounting body, yesterday

Mary Schapiro, chairman of the US Securities and Exchanges Commission, toldan audience of accountants at the US CFA Institute?s annual conference, she wascommitted to international standards, but was equally committed to protecting USinvestors from possible side effects.

?To be clear, while I strongly believe in our commitment to high qualityaccounting standards, I believe just as strongly that this commitment is onlythe beginning of the discussion, not the end,? she said.

?The IASB and FASB must remain vigilant that investors needs and protectionremain paramount throughout the process.?

She dismissed claims the US were not committed to international standards.

?Let's put this one to rest, right away. And, I can do that by citing theofficial text of our Commission Statement in Support of Convergence and GlobalAccounting Standards,? she said.

She also denied the US was dragging its feet.

?This too is wrong... It is important that we take the time to solicit,receive and analyze input from companies, investors and other stakeholders whowill ultimately have to put into practice and make use of new standards.?

The US has not made a concrete decision to adopt international standards,Instead it is investigating the impact on US investors and is set to make adecision next year.

Further reading:Remarksat CFA Institute 2010 Annual Conference