Hanson CEO joins ranks of IFRS critics

Alan Murray, CEO of building material’s supplier Hanson, has become the
latest senior executive to criticise international financial reporting

Speaking to Accountancy Age after CIMA’s biannual Anthony Howitt
lecture, which debated the private equity boom, Murray said: ‘IFRS is making the
profit and loss account completely incomprehensible to investors, both retail
and institutional.’

Murray added that fair value had irked him in particular.

CIMA president John Coghlan echoed Murray’s beliefs, saying that meaningful
details had been sacrificed for compliance: ‘IFRS is all about technical
compliance. If something is worth £10 and you buy it for £9 because of your
technical expertise, you’ve still got to put it down as costing £10 because of
the fair value requirements – a tenth of the value which you’ve saved has been
lost in the P&L,’ he said.

Murray also hit out at the current regulatory climate: ‘Those of us who are
directors of publicly quoted companies today would probably say that business
life is much less fun than it was ten years ago, and regulation has a lot to do
with it.’

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