PracticeAccounting FirmsBusinesses want to use IAS now

Businesses want to use IAS now

An emphatic majority of business leaders in Europe are demanding the right to use international accounting standards before the 2005 deadline despite a lack of preparation, new research has found.

A total of 81% of 650 CFOs from 15 European Union countries said they want the freedom to use IAS instead of national accounting rules as soon as possible. Only four EU countries currently allow companies to report under IAS.

But, the research by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that enthusiasm is countered by a lack of preparation.

Peter Holgate, UK senior technical partner at PwC, said: ‘There are a lot of anomalies.

‘With less than three years to go until the 2005 deadline and over four-fifths (85%) of EU listed companies yet to convert to IAS, the message from companies that have already been through the process is clear. Planning needs to start now, given the work involved.’

Looking ahead, Holgate suggested that some companies may see audit qualifications. He also questioned the quality of reporting for those that leave it to the ‘last minute’.

The survey however showed the issue had now reached the boardroom. Over 69% of board members are aware of the imminent switch over. This is a large shift from the 2000 survey when only 58% were aware.

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