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State Board Report

March 2014

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission plans to continue to support the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s efforts, while promoting the development of global standards, over the next four years. Its draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014-2018 states: “In overseeing the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the SEC will strengthen and support the FASB’s independence and maintain the focus of financial reporting on the needs of investors. Due to the increasingly global nature of capital markets, the agency will work to promote higher quality financial reporting worldwide and will consider, among other things, whether a single set of high-quality global accounting standards is achievable.”

The FASB has been working with the International Accounting Standards Board to converge standards, but the extent of U.S. adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards has remained a question for years. The SEC’s Strategic Plan makes no specific mention of IFRS. It does mention the SEC’s active participation in international multilateral organizations, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the Financial Stability Board, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Financial Action Task Force. “These efforts will be complemented by direct bilateral consultations with foreign regulatory counterparts on enforcement and regulatory cooperation matters. In addition, the SEC continues to promote international coordination and cooperation through its technical assistance programs for foreign regulators.”

Greater sharing, cooperation and joint initiatives both within the SEC and with other regulators is part of the SEC’s strategic plan: “This would include continuing efforts to collaborate and share information with other regulators, such as FINRA, state regulators, the CFTC, international counterparts and others.”

The SEC intends to continue to build its National Examination and Enforcement program which includes “enhancing information-sharing, leveraging the knowledge of third partries, improving the processing of the thousands of tips the agency receives annually, and improving risk assessment techniques.” Through IOSCO the SEC has entered into a Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding and has also negotiated bilateral information sharing arrangements, to enable it to assist foreign regulators making requests for enforcement assistance and to obtain from those countries similar assistance.

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