Tweedie “not terribly sympathetic” to concerns of standard-overload

The head of the international accounting rule maker said he has little
sympathy for complaints on the surge of draft accounting standards being rolled
out to meet the June 2011 convergence deadline.

Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board
(IASB) said respondents have had ample notice of the new accounting drafts which
need to be released if the US hopes to converge key accounting standards with
its US counterparts.

“Let’s look at what we’ve got out there at the moment – leases, revenue
recognition and insurance. If you’re not an insurance company you’ve got two.
Big deal,” he said.

“I’m not terribly sympathetic. It’s not as thought these have sprung out of
no where, we’ve been working on these, they’ve seen the drafts coming, they know
what we’re doing.

The US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) is deciding whether to ditch
its current accounting code for listed companies and adopt international
accounting rules, in line with other major economies across the world.

One crucial factor will be whether US and International accounting codes are
substantially converged by June 2011. The IASB has already had to revise its
convergence timetable once, to address concerns it was releasing too much, too

In June, the boards wrote to the G20 seeking approval for the lighter agenda,
in response to the concerns the IASB was overloading accountants and businesses
with draft accounting rules.

However, even the new lighter agenda has attracted criticism for being too
ambitious. Sir David rejected the criticism.

“It’s tough, but goodness it’s tough for us too. We can’t keep getting all
this advice. We always get conflicting advice. ‘You must have these done by June
2011, but don’t give them to us all at once’,” he said.

For full details of Sir David’s interview, see Accountancy Age’s 9 September

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