PracticeAuditIASB fails to name all donors

IASB fails to name all donors

The International Accounting Standards Board will not publish a full list of the corporate donors that provided $6m (£4.2m) to the organisation last year, despite coming under intense pressure to do so.

Trustees overseeing the work of the IASB had decided to publish a list of backers following allegations in the US that Enron may have tried to influence the accounting body with an offer to donate funds.

And at a public meeting in London on Tuesday, the trustees agreed to publish the list of donors that have contributed to its $18m budget in 2001.

But the list will exclude five corporate donors which have refused to be named and have offered no reason for their decision, as revealed on Monday by AccountancyAge.com.

Of the five donors’ silence, Paul Volcker, chairman of the trustees, said: ‘There’s nothing we can do about it.’

Volcker said details of the amounts that each of the trustees had contributed would be published. ‘Given the attention given to this, I think we ought to be more fulsome rather than less fulsome,’ he said.

The organisation’s annual report will be published in two weeks. It will say that corporate backers provided about $6m of the IASB budget last year, with the Big Five accountancy firms pledging a $5m contribution for a five-year period until 2005. The remainder is provided by other institutions.

The news could deal a fresh blow to Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, who appeared before a US senate committee to answer questions about international accounting standards and Enron.

Volcker has denied the IASB ever received funds from Enron.

Sir David Tweedie, head of the IASB, said Volcker was feeling ‘bruised’ after US senators levelled allegations of secrecy at the organisation. Sir David also voiced his fears this could lead to Volcker ‘walking away from the IASB’ if the furore continued.

David Cairns, a former head of the International Accounting Standards Committee, the body in charge of the IASB, revealed trustees stopped publishing a list of donors in the mid to late 1990s.

He said: ‘I cannot for the life of me see why the trustees did not carry on with the old (correct) policy.’

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