The UK’s accountancy institutes will be dead within a decade, the European Commission’s head of financial reporting and company law unit Karel Van Hulle, warned this week.
In an exclusive interview with Accountancy Age Van Hulle said different standard setters in different countries were holding back the creation of a genuinely single market.
National institutes would also have to speak with a single voice within Europe to enable them to use power more effectively on a global stage, he added. This would require a single Europe-wide body.
Van Hulle praised the Accounting Standards Board and the UK accounting profession, but said: ‘The behaviour of Europe in many international organisations has meant we have achieved far less than we could have. Our vote is diluted and the question is how long can we afford to be like that?’
He drew a parallel with money wasted before the euro’s introduction by member states not having a common currency.
Warning that more harmonisation would have to come, he said: ‘The market is driving this, stimulated by the euro. It does not make sense that individual countries develop their thinking. It is inefficient.’
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