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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 18, 2008

Accounting standards board member to discuss upcoming changes

One of the most dramatic changes U.S. businesses will face as a result of the globalized economy will be addressed when a board member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) discusses an upcoming change in accounting standards at the Tippie College of Business Sept. 29.

Thomas Linsmeier (photo, left), FASB board member and former University of Iowa faculty member, will present "International Convergence and the Possible Use of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the U.S." The lecture begins beings at 6 p.m. on Sept. 29 in Room C20 of the Pomerantz Career Center. The lecture is sponsored by the RSM McGladrey Institute of Accounting Education and Research.

Ramji Balakrishnan, professor of accounting in the Tippie College of Business and director of the McGladrey Institute, said Linsmeier's lecture is part of an effort by professional and government regulatory agencies to prepare businesses in the U.S. for the switch to the new accounting standards.

U.S. business currently use what are known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to keep their finances and determine the value of their businesses. Since 2001, however, IFRS has become the standards used in most other countries. It is now the mandatory financial reporting tool in the European Union, Australia, Russia, China and many Eastern European countries. Businesses in other countries -- including Canada -- will start using IFRS in the coming years.

"Convergence efforts have been in place for almost six years, but recent developments, including the AICPA Council recognizing the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as the authoritative body for establishing IFRS, are clear signals to all U.S. companies that convergence is inevitable. It is just a question of when," said Dean Price, a managing director in RSM McGladrey's Iowa City office and an RSM McGladrey Institute board member.

Balakrishnan said U.S. companies with global interests should prepare themselves because IFRS will become the common language for international accounting.

The RSM McGladrey Institute was founded in 1984 with contributions from McGladrey & Pullen partners who are UI accounting graduates. The institute sponsors accounting research, hosts annual public forums on contemporary accounting and auditing issues, provides undergraduate and graduate students access to professional research and educational materials, and is a resource for the media on accounting, auditing and stock market matters.

RSM McGladrey is a leading professional services firm providing accounting, tax and business consulting. RSM McGladrey operates in an alternative practice structure with McGladrey & Pullen LLP, a partner-owned CPA firm that delivers audit and attest services. Through separate and independent legal entities, they work together to serve clients' business needs. Together, the companies rank as the fifth largest U.S. provider of accounting, tax and business consulting services (source: Accounting Today), with 8,000 professionals and associates in nearly 100 offices. RSM McGladrey Inc. and McGladrey & Pullen LLP are member firms of RSM International, an affiliation of independent accounting and consulting firms.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Cristina Hurley, RSM McGladrey, 319-896-5415,; Tom Snee, University News Services, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell),