SEC OKs plan that could lead to global accounting rules - Securities regulators on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to a plan that could require thousands of U.S. companies to change from U.S. accounting standards to global accounting rules that are quickly gaining favor abroad.

The Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously approved a "road map" that might require large companies to adopt international standards by 2014, midsize corporations by 2015 and small businesses by 2016. Some large firms might voluntarily adopt the international rules even sooner.
Last fall, the SEC commissioners moved to allow foreign firms to file their financial statements to the SEC using international standards rather than U.S. accounting rules. Skeptics believe that international standards are inevitable as the global economy grows, but fear that putting them into practice could be a legal and regulatory nightmare.
U.S. accounting standards, known as GAAP or generally accepted accounting principles, are overseen by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, while the International Accounting Standards Board in London monitors global accounting rules.
Source: Migalhas International No. 671