Big Four to miss out on government’s IFRS switch

Government finance directors will bear the brunt of IFRS transition and not
external advisers such as the Big Four.

The move to international accounting standards for government departments
will be led by their own finance directors and reporting specialists, according
Andrew Baigent, director of financial audit policy at the National Audit Office.
The Big Four significantly grew revenues by helping public companies move to

The government has also been pushing to appoint qualified
accountants in departmental FD roles
over the last two years.

‘Departments have good financial reporting specialists, and we’re not
expecting there’ll be any significant need to bring in specialist external
advice,’ said Baigent.

His comments came as the
revealed that government accounts could move to international standards by
2008/2009, ahead of UK GAAP’s convergence with the standards from January 2009.

The Treasury is preparing a shadow reporting manual based on IFRS, which
should be ready by May 2007.

Further reading:

Treasury in rush to hire qualified FDs

FDs, your government needs you

Government FDs: who’s who in government

Related reading

Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.