HFTP Publishes Paper on U.S. SEC's Proposal for IFRS Conversion

- In response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) proposal to move towards an adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the Research Institute of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) has published a white paper discussing its impact on the hospitality industry.

The piece, 'The Path to IFRS Conversion' was published in HFTP's bi-monthly magazine, The Bottomline, and is also available on the HFTP web site. Coverage focuses on a roundtable discussion, hosted by HFTP in November 2008, between senior-level financial executives from major lodging companies who explored the impact of such a change. Discussion revolved around the proposed change to IFRS, as well as how it would affect the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI), a widely-used accounting standard throughout the lodging industry.

"The topics at the round table were vast, therefore I am quite sure our discussion there represents just the beginning in an effort to shape the dialogue and be proactive on these financial issues," said Cal Legister, CHAE, MBA, CFO of Herald Hotel Association, LP-RMB, attendee at the HFTP Financial Roundtable. "I am confident that the hospitality financial industry will benefit in the long run."

The paper explains that round table participants agreed that international implications need to be added to the USALI and that HFTP needs to be the guiding force behind any major industry decisions pertaining to the IFRS. It recommends that financial executives begin to educate themselves on IFRS. At this time they may not be impacted by the new standards, but at some point in their career they will likely have to deal with IFRS in one capacity or another.

In addition, the paper covers the history of accounting standards, pros and cons to conversion, how the IFRS differs from U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and what steps financial departments need to take to prepare. Following the white paper is an article detailing suggestions made by the round table participants for the next edition of the USALI, including a broader international perspective.

In August 2008, the SEC unanimously voted to propose a road map for conversion and eventual adoption of the IFRS. The road map is available for comment until February 19, 2009. Depending on the company's size, the proposed road map would require the mandatory use of IFRS beginning in 2014, 2015 or 2016. HFTP plans to continue to update and educate its membership as changes incur.

To learn more about the HFTP Research Institute's white paper, attend the free webinar on February 24 at 1 p.m. EST. Arlene Ramirez, MBA and Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, authors of the white paper, discuss the path to conversion to new standards and changes in the USALI that will support this path. The webinar is free to members and non-members. Register on HFTP's web site.

For information on the white paper, 'Path to IFRS Conversion,' contact the HFTP Publications Department at

About HFTP
HFTP, Austin, Texas, USA and Maastricht, The Netherlands, founded in 1952, is the global professional association for financial and technology personnel working in hotels, clubs and other hospitality-related businesses. HFTP provides first class educational opportunities, research and publications to more than 4,800 members globally, including the premiere hospitality technology conference HITEC, founded in 1972. HFTP also awards the only hospitality specific certifications for accounting and technology - the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) designations. HFTP was founded in the USA as the National Association of Hotel Accountants. For more information, visit

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