Insurance industry groups and accounting experts say they need to know more before they can weigh in on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission efforts to adopt international accounting standards.
The SEC recently released a proposed “road map” for moving toward single set of international accounting standards.
Insurance industry participants interviewed about the standards effort are expressing support for the concept but say they are waiting for more information about what the effort would really mean.
The SEC says it could decide whether to adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards by 2011, and that it could require some big issuers to use the standards as early as 2014. Midsize companies could be using the standards by 2015, and small companies could be using the standards by 2016.
About 85 countries now require domestic companies to use the IFRS, SEC officials report.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, has issued a statement saying it looks forward to seeing the actual details of the SEC’s IFRS road map proposal.
The IFRS proposal would affect financial reports prepared in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles rather than with the statutory accounting rules that help regulators monitor insurers’ solvency, according to the ACLI.
The project is still too new for the ACLI to determine how it might affect the insurance industry, but the ACLI believes “establishing a strong, global set of accounting standards for public corporations would be a welcome development,” the group says.