Don’t mix politics and standards, says Haddrill

The international accounting standard setter must work more effectively with
stakeholders to avoid political interference, according to the head of one of
the most influential investment bodies.

Writing in today’s Accountancy Age,
Association of British
director general Stephen Haddrill said the
IASB must raise its
level of effectiveness in dealing with investors, regulators and companies or
face political interference in the setting of accounting standards.

‘Who do we want to set accounting standards? Not politicians, that’s clear.
But neither do we want experts vacuum-packed in a world of their own,’ writes

His comments come as US and international standard setters await the critical
G20 meeting on 2 April in London, where a working group will report back on
making further recommendations to strengthen financial reporting standards.

Standards setters have faced political pressure in recent months to make
changes to fair value accounting rules over suggestions that it exacerbated the
financial crisis.

Mary Schapiro, the new chairman of US financial regulator the SEC, has also
suggested Wall Street’s move toward full IFRS implementation could be slowed
down, lengthening the comment period on the topic from January to April.

Haddrill is the sole UK member of the
Crisis Advisory Group
, the US and international standard setters’ group set
up to coordinate their stance on the future of global standards in light of the
current financial crisis.

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