Unlisted companies to get IFRS option

Link: IFRS paves way for 2005

Adoption has already been deemed mandatory for all of the UK’s 2,700 list companies but the Department of Trade and Industry has decided to allow private companies the option to switch from UK accounting rules to international standards.

Once a company has made the decision to move to IFRS it will not be allowed to revert back, in order to stop the switching of standards allowing companies to put figures in a more flattering light and obtain tax advantages, the FT reported.

The government has estimated that the move to global standards for listed companies in 2005 will cost UK business between £576m and £1.4bn in one-off costs.

Jacqui Smith, minister for industry and the regions, said: ‘This is an important development in financial reporting. The government is committed to the idea of internationally agreed accounting standards. Accounts will be more transparent and more easily comparable, which will benefit users, and lead to more efficient capital markets.’

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