McCreevy puts foot down on new IFRS

European Commission internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy has warned
the International Accounting Standards Board not to expect new standards in
development to be adopted across Europe anytime soon.

Speaking to Accountancy Age at the Global Public Policy Symposium,
McCreevy said that the EC would stick with the ‘stable platform’ produced by the
IASB in March 2004, ‘aside from some outstanding technical issues’ such as with
financial instruments standard IAS39.

‘We have to ensure the standards we have now bed down before we start adding
any more,’ he said.

The IASB is currently developing a series of new standards with its US
counterpart, as it attempts to harmonise global standards.

But McCreevy warned the IASB in his speech that its plans for accounting
convergence should have an ear to business concerns, or the EC would be likely
to intervene, as it did with IAS39, resulting in a ‘carve out’.

‘Convergence is not an invitation to standard setters to try and advance the
theoretical frontiers of accounting,’ said McCreevy.

‘I will not take on board any revolutionary new standards. This should be a
practical exercise, firmly anchored in business reality, to be undertaken in the
interests of users and investors.’

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Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.