Senior U.S. finance executives, currently saddled with rules-focused Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), aren't entirely sure what they would prefer in the way of global standards, according to a recent survey by Grant Thornton LLP. More than 55% of those polled disagree with the Security and Exchange Commission's proposal to let foreign firms file financial statements according to the principles-based International Finance Reporting Standards (IFRS). Professional jealousy? Perhaps. But nearly 50% also oppose letting U.S. firms with extensive overseas operations adopt IFRS rules instead of GAAP. Further muddying the waters was the respondents' claim–67.5%said so–that they would choose principles-based standards over GAAP's rules-based approach.

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Most of the respondents do agree on one thing: More than 90% of the public company executives polled think accounting rules are too complex.

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