PricewaterhouseCoopers Announces $700,000 Grant to Accelerate IFRS Curriculum

IFRS Ready Funding Provided to 26 Universities Nationwide; Unique Program to Help Develop Next Generation of Accounting Professionals

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| Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) today announced the awarding of $700,000 in grants to colleges to accelerate preparedness of U.S. accounting students for the anticipated adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The first-of-its-kind program initially assists 26 universities and colleges across the United States in creating an IFRS curriculum in their accounting programs. The grants are part of a $1 million financial commitment announced by PwC to support IFRS education.

The globalization of business and finance has led to the successful adoption of IFRS by upwards of 12,000 companies in more than 100 countries. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted a proposed roadmap for the potential transition by U.S. companies from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to IFRS. This decision formalizes a path to adoption and hastens the need to transform the education of the domestic accounting industry.

PricewaterhouseCoopers believes that the adoption of IFRS will make the U.S. capital markets more competitive because U.S. issuers will be better able to compete for capital in sectors where non-U.S. companies now report under IFRS. Embracing a single set of global accounting standards will contribute to a higher degree of investor understanding and confidence.

"PwC is closely collaborating with academia to ensure young professionals are prepared for the emerging IFRS accounting standards," says Jean Wyer, partner and leader of college and university relations for PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Our substantial commitment will not only help to develop curriculum, but also help professors adapt to principles-based rather than the rules-based content."

The grants will be used by colleges and universities in a variety of ways, including:

  • Updating primary instruction materials used in a two-semester Intermediate Accounting course
  • Transforming course syllabi and textbooks to include IFRS
  • Enhancing the focus on international business and accounting issues across the entire curriculum, with specific focus on incorporating IFRS topics into all levels of the accounting courses

In addition to the grants, PwC is also providing educational material directly to students and faculty through a suite of Web-based videos and tools available at www.pwc.tv.

The firm's IFRS Ready "learning annex" enables students to watch videos explaining IFRS, why it matters and its effects on accounting today. They can also explore interactive IFRS financial statements that enable them to see and understand the differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP treatments.

For professors, PwC's IFRS Ready materials provide slides, speaker notes and questions and answers on IFRS topics that can be integrated into both introductory and intermediate accounting classes. The tools provide an easy way for professors to introduce IFRS to their students. PwC is making these materials widely available to thousands of faculty across the country.

About PricewaterhouseCoopers

PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 155,000 people in 153 countries across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP or, as the context requires, the PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Kelly M. Howard 646-471-2111 ; Elliott Frieder 646-471-3108