Ken Wild told delegates at the CFO summit in Warwickshire this week that they should begin as soon as possible if they are to meet the European Union’s 2005 deadline for adopting international accounting standards.
He said the best way of implementing the new standards would be in three phases, the first of which should be a preparation phase starting in 2001-2002.'[Companies] can’t afford to wait until 2003, said Wild. ‘It is not a small exercise.’
‘All the major audit firms are in the planning stage,’ he said. ‘We are already doing it, even though [none of our clients] have done it yet.’
The first phase, he said, is getting the company ready to receive the standards, making a list of things that need to be changed.
Responding to the criticism that it is impossible to begin planning because there are no concrete rules yet, Wild likened the phase to drawing a path to which concrete will be added later on.
However, Wild admitted that, although European finance ministers signed the new standard, ‘IAS 2005 will be almost unachieveable in some parts of Europe.’
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