After decades of discussion and debate, private companies in the U.S. may finally get their own set of accounting standards. While a move to a simpler set of standards for smaller companies has been debated for decades, globalization and the prospect of convergence with global accounting standards are making such a switch more likely than ever. Despite the progress, it's expected to take years for the change to occur as experts decide which system would work best for U.S. private companies.

"There are two general debates," says D.J. Gannon, leader of Deloitte's IFRS Center for Excellence. "First, do we move to a global set of standards? Second, what do you do for public vs. private companies?"

Last July, the International Accounting Standards Board published International Financial Reporting Standards for Small and Medium-sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs), targeting the private companies that make up approximately 95% of all companies worldwide. That prompted wide discussion in the United States about whether U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which are currently used by most private companies, satisfy their needs.

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