SME accounting standards response ‘bigger than expected’

THE CONSULTATION on international accounting standards for SMEs (FRSME) closed on Saturday with a response that exceeded expectations.

Accounting Standards Board chairman Roger Marshall said that more than 200 replies have been received. He revealed: “This is more than expected, although not much more”.

He added that there have been “no huge surprises” due to the level of consultation that took place over the past few months, though warned it will “take a while to digest all the contributions”.

Respondents’ main concerns have focused on efforts to simplify FRSME by removing some of the options available under full IFRS. These include revaluation and development cost capitalisation, which are of particular concern to housing organisations and similar groups.

Marshall identified another point of contention as the distinction between users of FRSME and those on full IFRS. Some entities – such as pension funds – have questioned why they should be forced to use the more complex standard, preferring to stick to the simpler rulebook.

The ASB board has begun working through the responses and will post updates online; Marshall said it will take until autumn to examine all the themes, with a full report likely to emerge in late 2011.

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Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.