ASB warned on timing of rule changes

The UK standard setter may have to delay the introduction of new
international reporting rules as fears mount that it could clash with a new
tax-reporting regime.

The Accounting Standards Board’s proposal to bring in new international
accounting standards for mid-tier companies could clash with HM Revenue &
Customs’ attempts to bring in XBRL – a computer reporting language.

In a recent discussion paper, the ASB said the new rules would come into
effect on 1 January 2012.

HMRC said its new reporting language will become compulsory from April 2011.

There are also fears the industry will not be given enough lead time to come
to grips with the new ASB standards, with some believing the board will leave
only a few months for accountants to absorb the new rules before the
January,2012 deadline.

Ken Williamson, a partner with Ernst & Young, said he will be urging
businesses to voice their concerns on the matter.

‘There’s no doubt for some companies who are impacted by both that this will
put a short-term strain on their finance teams,’ he said.

‘If the ASB were to push this back a year it would give companies some extra
breathing space.’

Ian Mackintosh, chairman of the ASB, said the board had not considered the
XBRL deadline when putting together the convergence timetable, but said the
board would be open to suggestions.

‘The date is flexible and if there are good reasons to delay or bring forward
the date we would be happy to listen to them,’ he said.

‘If it going to cause great inconvenience you have to be flexible.’

The ASB’s discussion paper, which is open for comment until 1 February 2010,
follows the release of international accounting rules for mid-tier businesses
released in July.

The ASB is inviting comment on the proposals, which aim at phasing out UK

Related reading

Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.