UK companies hit out at IASB

The UK’s biggest blue chip companies have lambasted new international
accounting standards after Jon Symonds, the chairman of the Hundred Group and
AstraZeneca CFO, said the standards were undermining relations between
businesses and investors.

‘I don’t want a technical and theoretical approach to undermine communication
between business and owners,’ Symonds was quoted as saying in the Financial

The dissatisfaction with the new standards comes as a blow for the
International Accounting Standards Board, which has up until now had the backing
of its UK constituents in its work on developing a single set of international

The Hundred Group is preparing a list of desired changes to present to the
IASB, which is likely to raise concerns over the use of fair value accounting
and complex disclosures of derivatives, employee stock options and pension fund

UK companies are believed to be concerned about the change from historical
cost accounting to fair value accounting, as it introduces more volatility into
company accounts and draws attention away from the actual performance of a

Responding to the concerns raised by Symonds, IASB vice-chairman Tom Jones
told the FT that the standard-setter would not back down on fair value
accounting, but was trying to address the problems companies had with the new

‘It’s not our objective to get away from economic reality. There is nothing
more real than the value of an asset today,’ said Jones.

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Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.