SMEs call for convergence halt

Furious representatives of the small business community have backed calls to
halt convergence between UK and international accounting standards.

The Federation of Small Businesses is angry that new standards designed for
listed companies are being spread to private businesses even though the
International Accounting Standards Board is still developing a specific set of
standards for SMEs.

The FSB moved to support calls from the ICAEW to suspend convergence until
the new SME standards are finalised. ‘Most small companies have issues that are
of no interest to anyone outside the company,’ said Neil Hamper, chairman of the
taxation committee at the FSB. ‘So why do we have to have these top-down
standards imposed on us? Some of them can have devastating effects on our

‘It is a waste of time and money and is not good for the economy,’ said Andy
Mowlah, policy analyst at the Forum of Private Business. ‘Businesses need to
know the rules and regulations will not change.’

Earlier this week the institute argued that the continuing shift in UK GAAP
towards IFRS is putting increasing burdens and uncertainties on unlisted
companies. It suggested that there should be a ‘significant pause’ in the
convergence programme until the outcome of the international project on SME

‘If the ASB was to proceed with the current convergence programme, companies
could face the grim prospect of switching from UK GAAP to full IFRS to
simplified IFRS in short succession,’ said ICAEW chief executive Eric Anstee.

‘This would be an unacceptable outcome, involving substantial costs and
uncertainties, without delivering benefit to the users of the accounts.’

Related reading

Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.