The Financial Accounting Standards Board and its international counterpart have set a mid-2011 target date to eliminate major differences between U.S. and global accounting standards, but they still face a minefield of complexities and disagreements on the path to convergence.

FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board met in London last week to firm up a strategy and a timeline for how to eliminate the myriad accounting differences that still obstruct a single, global accounting rulebook. The list is long and fraught with contentious issues—including how to answer global regulators’ and political leaders’ demands for accounting answers to the lingering credit ...