ASB future still unclear after public meeting

A meeting to discuss the future of the UK Accounting Standards Board failed
to find a consensus over its route towards convergence with international

The gathering at Grocer’s Hall in the City, attended by many key figures from
the profession, business and academic world, was unable to establish a clear
idea of what standards UK companies not currently required to report under IFRS
should work under.

Four proposals had been put forward by the board for discussion: full IFRS
for all but the smallest companies, the forthcoming SME standard for all but the
large public interest companies, or the introduction of a third tier in between
the largest and the smallest companies that would either use a scaled down
version of IFRS or a beefed-up version of the SME standard.

A show of hands following some forthright comments found that views were
diverse, with widescale use of SME standards and the addition of ‘IFRS minus’
being marginally the most popular. There was also significant support for other
ideas from the floor, such as IFRS for public interest companies and no
accounting for the rest.

The meeting also saw many airing dissenting voices over the introduction of
IFRS and way the International Accounting Standards Board had handled this.

The ASB was to get involved in the international standard setting process as
early as possible, with many arguing the IASB was unwilling to listen to its
constituents concerns and that it was almost impossible to make a significant
impact on the direction of a standard once an exposure draft had been issued.

Related reading

Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.