The Honourable Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Dear Mr Prime Minister:
On behalf of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), accounting standard-setters charged with developing high quality accounting standards, we are writing to you as the host of the upcoming meeting of G20 Leaders’ Summit. We respectfully request that the meeting secretariat circulate this letter to other meeting participants.
We understand the importance that the G20 Leaders attach to the issue of accounting standards. At the Pittsburgh Summit, held in September 2009, the G20 leaders stated “ We call on our international accounting bodies to redouble their efforts to achieve a single set of high quality, global accounting standards within the context of their independent standard setting process, and complete their convergence project by June 2011. The International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) institutional framework should further enhance the involvement of various stakeholders.”
We reported the progress of our work to the G20 finance ministers before their meeting in Korea earlier this month. We attach that letter for your information.
That letter emphasised our shared commitment to improving International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and US generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and achieving their convergence. It also highlighted our understanding of the relevance of the June 2011 target to G20 members adopting IFRSs in 2011 or 2012 and for other countries, including Japan and the United States, who consider continued improvement and convergence to be an important consideration in deciding the role of IFRSs in their capital markets.
We also noted that many stakeholders have voiced concerns about their ability to provide high quality input on the large number of major exposure drafts that were planned for publication in the second quarter of this year. For that reason, at the time of our writing to the G20 finance ministers, the two boards were in the process of developing a modified strategy that retained targeted completion dates of June 2011 or earlier for those projects for which the need for improvement of IFRSs and US GAAP is the most urgent. We were also identifying those projects for which a later completion date would be appropriate because they address matters that we believe have a relatively lower priority or for which further research and analysis is necessary.
We have now completed our consultation on our modified strategies and have attached the updated work programme.
The Pittsburgh Leaders Statement highlighted the importance of stakeholder engagement. We believe the modified work programme, which phases the publication of exposure drafts and related consultations, enables the broad-based and effective stakeholder participation in due process that is critical to the quality of our standards. The nature of the comments received on our exposure drafts will determine the extent of the redeliberations necessary and other steps and efforts that will be required to reach this goal.
We appreciate the support of the G20 for the development of a single set of high quality global accounting standards. The two boards remain committed to achieving that objective. We will continue to provide timely updates regarding our progress.
| David Tweedie |
| Robert Herz |