BusinessCompany NewsUK plc staff ill-prepared for 2005 deadline

UK plc staff ill-prepared for 2005 deadline

An Accountancy Age survey has revealed that a large majority of the UK's listed companies are not sufficiently ready for international accounting standards in 2005.

Link: IAS special report

More than 40% of finance directors rated their financial staff as poorly prepared for the standards, which are now only 11 months away. Of the respondents, 34% believed their employees to be ready, while 9% said that their staff were poorly prepared.

Well-trained IAS staff are key, but the systems required to cope are equally important. Asked to rate the readiness of IT systems needed for IAS, 39% of respondents stated that they were still to start, an equal number (36%) said that some sort of programme was underway, while 9% said they had already completed changes.

Click to view survey results

One respondent said: ‘I think it is absurd that we won’t know the final format until the end of the quarter’, while another described some of the rules as ‘academic nonsense’ and added: ‘Capitalising software development costs? This is simply carte blanche for dodgy companies to boost their products.’

Mixed views were reserved for standard setter the IASB, various accounting institutes and government bodies. A total of 40% of respondents believed the organisations involved in IAS were doing a good job. However, 32% of companies said they were giving poor advice and assistance, while a further 9% suggested that the bodies concerned were very poor.

More optimistically, 38% of FTSE-100 companies believed that UK plc was on the road to convergence, and 41% of FTSE350 firms agreed. This wasn’t the case for other listed companies who believed UK businesses were poorly (40%) or very poorly (39%) prepared for the biggest change to accounting standards in decades.

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