Final standards await approval

Publication of the UK financial reporting standards on impairment and provisions awaits the outcome of an International Accounting Standards Committee board meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week.

Impairment is one of five final standards scheduled on the Malaysian agenda. ‘A lot of our programme is tied in with the IASC,’ said Allan Cook, the Accounting Standards Board’s technical director. ‘We’re ready to publish if the IASC is, but are waiting to see how it reacts.’

Pressure is mounting on the IASC to meet the amended November deadline for the core programme it agreed with the International Organisation of Securities Organisations. The international standards package is intended to be a ‘universal passport’ to global stock exchanges.

Final standards will also be considered for: intangible assets; business combinations; discounting operations; and provisions, contingent liabilities and contingent assets. An exposure draft still has to be agreed on financial instruments such as derivatives.

Mary Tokar, senior associate chief accountant with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said SEC staff have reservations about the draft standard. ‘The proposed approach would, at best, be applied inconsistently.

At worst, it would permit manipulation of reported income,’ she said.

Related reading