ASB chairman David Tweedie, who is also tipped to become a member on IASC’s new board, said: ‘We have to retain the national boards to be able to influence IASC. Otherwise, the IASC will sit in an ivory tower.’
But, questions have been raised about the future role of national standards boards since members of the International Federation of Accountants Committee approved a new constitution and internal structure for the international accounting standard-setter, IASC.
Graham Ward, the English ICA’s next president, is less positive about their sustained existence, foreseeing instead a different kind of grouping that will feed IASC ideas.
‘We have one set of standards to cover the whole world and one body to do it,’ said Ward.
‘In the long term, the need for national standard setters is much less obvious.’
The European Commission’s pledge to implement international accounting standards by 2005 is a further factor contributing to the possible demise of such boards is the near future.
Ward predicts that their function will radically diminish following 2005. But, he said: ‘There will be a continued need over the next few years. Partly because IASC won’t have dealt with everything and partly because national boards provide ready sources of expertise to feed from.’
However, Tweedie believes national standard-setters will always be used as sounding boards for IASC.
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