Actions by FASB, IASB Praised


Washington, D.C., October 29, 2002 -- The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission today applauded the decisions by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board to work together toward greater convergence between U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and international accounting standards.

"This is a positive step for investors in the U.S. and around the world," said SEC Chairman Harvey L. Pitt. "It means that reducing the differences in two widely used sets of accounting standards will receive consideration by both boards, as they work to improve accounting principles and address issues in financial reporting."

SEC Commissioner Roel C. Campos, who has been the Commission's participant in recent meetings of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, added: "I find it encouraging that interested parties in all countries can contribute their thinking. It is clear that investors globally could benefit to the extent that transparency and high quality information might be provided by a common worldwide approach."

Chairman Pitt and Commissioner Campos noted that international accounting standards have been a subject of interest for many years, and that the subject has received increased prominence with the decision of the European Union to adopt IAS in 2005, as well as similar actions being taken or considered in a number of other countries. They also noted that an effective infrastructure for interpretation and enforcement of accounting standards, and cooperation among regulators, will be critical to realizing the benefits of convergence.

"For years, many have believed that a desirable goal someday would be to move towards a single set of high quality accounting standards around the world," Pitt said. "Now the time frame has a more immediate focus. With so many new users of IAS coming in 2005, in Europe and elsewhere, there is a great opportunity to focus attention on ways to improve information for investors while working for greater convergence in both the short term and the long term."

Last modified: 10/29/2002