FEE and ICAS call for pan-European oversight system

Accountants have called for greater use of judgment in financial reporting
instead of ‘hiding behind the rules’ and demanded a pan-European oversight and
regulatory system.

The call came from ICAS and the European Federation of Accountants (FEE)
professionals attending an event hosted last night in Brussels by Scotland

An expert panel debating the issues included ICAS president Isobel Sharp;
deputy president of FEE Hans van Damme; FEE’s chairman of the Financial
Reporting Policy Group, Stig Envoldsen who is also a member of the Technical
Experts Group of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and a
partner with Deloitte in Denmark; Geoff Barnes, CEO and chairman of Baker Tilly
International; and Paul Koster, chairman of CESR-fin, the Committee of European
Securities Regulators financial reporting group.

The panel gave their views on how principles-based reporting can be applied
across Europe, suggesting guidance to avoidance a drift towards a rules-based
system as well

The panel supported the idea of a strong and robust pan-European oversight
and regulatory system, as well as the need to continue calls for less complex
standards from the IASB.

Sharp said that the key issue that emerged is for Europe to work together to
focus on how financial statements give a ‘true and fair view’.

‘What’s needed is the key information that readers can digest rather than
indigestible and extensive compliance information,’ said Sharp.

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