Tuesday, April 22, 2008

U.S. slow to adopt international accounting standards

A roiling real estate market. Changing regulation. New international accounting standards. How does Deloitte & Touche maintain its position as Atlanta’s largest professional service firm? Ed Heys, Atlanta Deputy Managing Partner, says it’s about hiring and retaining good talent. D&T hires about 350-400 people per year in Atlanta alone. Critical to retention is satisfying young workers’ desire to donate time and money to charity. Hence D&T’s emphasis on giving both money and intellectual capital to the United Way, Boys & Girls Club, and many others.


D&T maintains this focus while managing the adoption of new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and their heavier emphasis on guiding principles instead of hard and fast rules. Heys says the U.S. has resisted moving to the new standards and is now playing catch up.

“We’re going to have to go through a process of becoming experts on a new set of standards,” Heys says, predicting most major U.S. firms will adopt the standards by 2011.

Heys says accounting audits are taking more time, specifically due to the complexity of how to value certain assets such as real estate during this tumultuous market.