Preparing for Change: 2011 Financial Executive Learning Survey
2011 is a year of change and challenge for financial executives, who continually find themselves needing to adapt the way they work to new standards, laws, rules, and regulations. For example:
- New Standards: The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) continue working to converge U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) at the standard level. Final or near‐final converged standards on leases, revenue, and financial instruments are expected to be issued this year.
- IFRS: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to make a decision this year regarding whether to require, allow, or continue prohibiting the use of IFRS by domestic registrants.
- Standard Setting: A decision is expected this year from the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF, the parent organization of the FASB) with regard to changing the process by which accounting standards are set for private U.S. companies, largely in response to recent recommendations of a blue‐ribbon panel.
- ICFR: The numerous profound changes in U.S. GAAP and IFRS that are expected to occur in 2011 and beyond carry significant potential to introduce new material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting, a key element of corporate governance and risk management.
- New Legislation: Legislation and rule‐making at the federal level, such as the Dodd‐Frank Act, continue to impact financial reporting.
- XBRL: As a result of the SEC’s phase‐in of eXtensible Business Language (XBRL), all pubic U.S. companies are now required to furnish XBRL‐formatted financial statements to the SEC on a regular basis.
Of course, individuals and organizations cope with change much better if they are prepared for it. Because preparing for change usually requires relevant and timely learning, Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) and SmartPros Ltd. recently conducted a survey to identify the changedriven
learning needs of financial executives and their staff members. This report describes the survey’s key findings andprovides recommendations to guide financial executives in making sound educational decisions.
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