How IFRS has destabilised financial reporting for UK non-listed entities
Purpose – The paper aims to trace the development of attitudes towards financial reporting solutions for entities not subject to the European Union (EU) Regulation. This Regulation mandated application of IFRS for the group accounts of listed companies for financial years beginning 1 January 2005. It seeks to evaluate the alternatives in the light of changing attitudes to IFRS, and the accounting model being adopted, particularly focusing on the problems facing smaller companies. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs qualitative analysis of data from two main sources: first, a series of interviews with financially literate individuals before IFRS was implemented in the UK; and second, from responses to ASB's consultations on the future of financial reporting for non-listed entities. Findings – The increasing perception is that IFRS is overly complex and is complicating the search for appropriate form of financial reporting for entities not covered by the EU Regulation. In particular, there is a difficulty in knowing the correct dividing point between large and small company accounting, and views on this have evolved over time. The needs of small and medium enterprises appear to have been ignored in the debates dominated by the requirements of global players. Research limitations/implications – The implications are that further, possibly more radical policy options need to be considered for smaller companies to ensure that the costs of financial reporting remain in proportion to the benefits. Originality/value – The paper identifies the changing views in the UK of the suitability of IFRS for non-listed entities.
Accounting standards, Regulation, Small to medium-sized enterprises
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