The SEC believes that the global capital markets and investors could benefit from globally accepted accounting standards, and is therefore considering permitting U.S. issuers to prepare financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, as opposed to generally accepted accounting principles as used in the United States.

In its concept release, the SEC explains its long-standing desire to minimize disparity between the U.S. accounting and disclosure methods and those of other countries. Minimizing such disparity may encourage and facilitate expansion of capital markets across borders while simultaneously affording sufficient disclosure to protect investors.

Currently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board are working together toward converging U.S. and international accounting standards. The SEC acknowledges the risk that each Board may slow convergence efforts if U.S. issuers are permitted to use International Financial Reporting Standards to prepare financial statements. This is just one of the many considerations the SEC is seeking comment on in its concept release.