Conflict looms over IAS39 auditor frustrations

Conflict looms over IAS39 auditor frustrations

Inconsistent interpretations of IAS39 by Big Four is frustrating treasurers of UK's largest companies

Corporate treasurers are on the brink of a major clash with Big Four auditors
over inconsistent interpretations of IAS39. They claim discrepancies between
firms have unfairly benefited companies simply because of their choice of
auditor.

Some of the UK’s largest companies have become increasingly frustrated with
the inconsistencies, especially as they have paid firms to implement the
standards smoothly.

Matthew Hurn, the treasurer at DSG International, the owner of PC World and
Currys, said the FTSE 100 group’s rivals were capitalising on favourable IAS39
interpretations from their auditors, which placed DSG at a disadvantage because
of its auditor’s conservative view.

‘There is a major discrepancy between audit firms that needs to be addressed.
It is frustrating when I see that many of our rivals are receiving a much better
IAS39 treatment,’ Hurn said at an Association of Corporate Treasurers
conference.

Responding to the criticisms as conference chair, Ken Wild, global IFRS
leader at Deloitte, said firms were doing their utmost to solve the problem. ‘We
are on a big learning curve and we are honestly trying our best to ensure
consistency across firms. It is going to take time,’ he said.

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