ASB offers peace deal in segments row

The Accounting Standards Board has
stepped in as peacemaker in the bitter dispute over the reporting of company

The body is offering a review of the standard’s effectiveness, but only when
it has been implemented, in return for the adoption of the standard IFRS 8.

IFRS 8 concerns the way companies divide up their business segments for
reporting purposes. A coalition of charities urged the IASB to adopt a
country-by-country approach, to increase tax transparency in particular.

In recent months investors have launched a campaign against the standard,
which they feared was vague and represented a wholesale adoption of US standards
over European accounting methods.

Following an emergency meeting called by the
ASB, Ian Mackintosh,
the chairman of the body, told Accountancy Age that he hoped to secure a
compromise deal by the end of this week. ‘The ASB supports the adoption of the
standard. At the meeting we reached an agreement that I would draft a letter to
the EU, subject to the agreement of those present, asking the EU to adopt the
standard,’ he said.

The deal includes a post-implementation review, although a group of investors
are thought to want a full impact assessment conducted by the EU before any kind
of adoption.

Mackintosh acknowledged that a consensus on how to proceed was yet to be
established among the meeting’s attendees, which included the Hundred Group of
Finance Directors, CBI and DTI.

He was optimistic that he could send the ASB letter of support to the EU by
the end of the week.

The implementation of IFRS 8 was adopted as a crucial part of the convergence
project between IFRS and US standards. The standard was consulted on last year,
but the NAPF, ABI and other investor groups stepped in and attempted to block

The IASB is angry that the opposition was not made during the consultation
process, but those against IFRS 8 are adamant that the consultation was flawed
and that the standard is weak.

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