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IFRS Education: Why Accountants Should Get It Before It’s Hot

IFRS Education: Why Accountants Should Get It Before It’s Hot

Dona DeZube, Monster Finance Careers Expert

September 09, 2009

As the largest public companies in America begin their transition from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), they’re going to need accountants to show them the way.

Just over 100 of the largest public companies will be eligible to file IFRS statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission starting in December 2009. “They’re the largest employers in the country, so it makes sense to get up to speed on this,” says Mark Viego, vice president for Robert Half Management Resources’ Western US division in Las Vegas.

The SEC will decide by 2011 whether to make IFRS mandatory in 2014, with implementation from 2014 to 2016. If you’re not working at a large public firm, why worry about IFRS? “There’s going to be a tremendous demand for folks with this experience once the SEC finalizes the IFRS road map,” Viego predicts.

Learning about IFRS and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) doesn’t have to cost much either. Start by reading the IASB backgrounder, which explains what the organization does and how it sets standards.

Next, sign up for an IFRS course, either online or via an in-person seminar.

Ply Your Trade Group

Accounting trade associations are a great source of reasonably priced IFRS training, and if you attend a live course, you can network with other attendees.

The American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offers a two-hour IFRS overview course. “It walks through the major differences between GAAP and IFRS,” says Arleen Thomas, the AICPA’s senior vice president for member competency. The course is open to everyone. Cost is $145 for AICPA members and about $180 for nonmembers. There’s also a more advanced eight-hour online IFRS course that costs from $175 for members to about $220 for nonmembers.