Non-listed companies face standards challenge

Link: Companies face global rules wake-up call

From 1 January 2005 all listed companies in Europe will report under International Accounting Standards (IASs) after the European Council of Ministers gave its final approval to the regulation in June this year. The UK, like other member states, now has the option to extend the ruling on a compulsory or voluntary basis to unlisted companies.

Melanie Johnson, competition minister, said: ‘The regulation is an important development in financial reporting. In a global economy, moving to high quality globally agreed accounting standards will bring benefits for UK companies that operate on the international stage and for all users of their financial statements, including shareholders and analysts.’

‘It is vital that companies covered by the regulation and their accountants and auditors should be planning ahead for the change,’ added Johnson.

Mary Keegan, chairwoman of the Accounting Standards Board, welcomed the consultation and urged all interest parties to respond.

Keegan said: ‘The issues are complex and the consultation has far-reaching implications for all those – companies and other entities – which today use UK accounting standards. It is vital that all who have an interest in financial reporting engage in the debate.’

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