List of Differences Between US GAAP and IFRS
posted by Lawrence Cunningham
Is anyone aware of the existence of a simple list of differences between the requirements of traditional US accounting (GAAP) and international financial reporting standards (IFRS)? A simple listing of the top 25 or so differences between these two systems could be a handy tool for many purposes, including for reference, research, and instruction. But I and colleagues interested in finding such a list have not been able to locate one.
This is somewhat surprising to us. After all, pending debate over moving the US from GAAP to IFRS involves a fundamental question: how convergent or divergent are the two systems? There is no question that the two differ on numerous topics in important ways. Examples include inventory, research & development costs, and leases. Extensive research explores the effects of such differences on resulting reports of net income and shareholders’ equity. But there does not appear to be a simple list of the major differences by topic.
If anyone is aware of one, I’d be grateful to know about it. Alternatively, I may create one and share it on the SSRN as a “working paper.” I would invite others to comment on it to improve its accuracy and also update it as the two sets of standards continue to change.