Europe and US to work on converging standards

Detailed negotiations on further converging the accounting and auditing standards of the United States and the European Union (EU) should follow next month’s EU-US summit in Washington, the European Commission has said.

Link: Convergence roadmap ‘all motorways, no exits’

In a detailed policy paper, created in preparation for the June 20 meeting, Brussels said: ‘The EU and the US are convinced of the need to increase convergence and acceptance of functional equivalence in key areas such as accounting and audit standards’.

It said the summit should appoint ‘direct competent negotiators on both sides in the respective agreed sectors, to draw up within six months timetabled implementation plans to achieve to the fullest extent possible the objectives set out’ (in its paper).

The result would be a mix of compulsory legislation and non-binding guidelines, it said.

Brussels also noted how trans-Atlantic talks under a EU-US ‘financial markets regulatory dialogue’ had already solved some implementation problems associated with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; helping EU companies de-register from US stock exchanges; and starting to move together European and American accounting standards.

‘In the near future, recognition of International Accounting Standards (IAS) for European issuers in the US should be obtained’, noted the paper, to help create ‘a stronger EU-US partnership and a more open market for the 21st century’.

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