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SEC Seeks Comments on International Accounting Standards

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted Feb. 16 to seek comments over the next three months on how to structure international accounting standards that would make it easier to sell mutual funds and securities worldwide.

Douglas Scheidt, associate director and chief legal counsel for the division of investment management at the SEC, said late last year that the SEC might work with the International Organization of Securities Commissioners, representing 80 nations, to explore the feasibility of international securities regulations. (MFMN 12/6/99)

The establishment of international accounting standards would facilitate the creation of international securities regulation, said Lynn Turner, chief accountant at the SEC. As such, the SEC is working with the International Accounting Standards Committee.

After the SEC closes the comment period on international accounting standards in late May, it will analyze the letters and then work on a rule proposal, Turner said. The process will take about five months. The SEC will especially be looking for comments from foreign nations and is not necessarily predisposed to applying U.S. accounting standards, he said. Many foreign nations have superior accounting practices, he said.