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The European Commission has posted to its website the summary record of the meeting of the Accounting Regulatory Committee (ARC) on 20 November 2007. Topics discussed by the ARC at that meeting included:
In a presentation to the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee in Brussels, EU Commissioner for Internal Markets and Services Charlie McCreevy updated the committee on four topics – the EU-US regulatory dialogue, financial turmoil, single market, Single European Payments Area (SEPA).
The October 2007 Edition of EFRAG Update, published by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, reports that EFRAG is likely to extend the work that it normally carries out in making IFRS endorsement recommendations to the European Commission to include 'some form of cost-benefit study' for individual IFRSs, including Interpretations.
The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has updated its report showing the status of endorsement, under the EU Accounting Regulation, of each IFRS, including standards, interpretations, and amendments.
The Swiss Stock Exchange (SWX) has released its Annual Communique identifying the areas on which they expect to focus in their regulatory reviews of annual financial reports for 2007 and semi-annual financial reports for 2008 of Swiss Exchange (SWX) listed companies.
The Internal Market Directorate of the European Commission has published an independent study on the ownership rules that apply to audit firms and the consequences of those rules on audit market concentration.
The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) will meet at the IASB's offices in London on Thursday and Friday 1-2 November 2007. The meeting is open to the public and will be webcast.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has published a report for the European Commission on the first year of implementation across the EU of International Financial Reporting Standards and the Fair Value Directive.
In remarks presented at the IASB's conference with world standard setters on 24 September 2007 in London, Julie A Erhardt, Deputy Chief Accountant of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, addressed Implementation and Enforcement of IFRSs.
Ian Mackintosh, Chairman of the United Kingdom Accounting Standards Board, has written to European Internal Markets and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy expressing disappointment at the negative stance toward the proposed IFRS for SMEs that Commissioner McCreevy expressed in his remarks at a public event in Portugal on 13 September 2007 (see our News Story of 14 September 2007).
In a presentation on Simplification of the Business Environment for Companies Charlie McCreevy, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, expressed concern about whether the IASB's Proposed IFRS for SMEs is "simple enough to be applicable for the bulk of SMEs in the EU".
In a presentation to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament, Charlie McCreevy, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, discussed the endorsement of IFRS 8 Operating Segments for use in the European Union.
The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and a number of other European accounting standard-setters – under the lead of the UK Accounting Standards Board (ASB) – have today published a brief paper discussing the rationale for including stewardship, or directors' accountability to shareholders, as a separate objective of financial reporting.
In a joint press release, two leaders of the committee within the European Parliament that has responsibility for oversight of accounting matters have expressed some concern about the way the SEC has proposed to eliminate the required reconciliation to US GAAP for foreign registrants that use IFRSs.
The European Commission is conducting a public consultation regarding the endorsement of IFRS 8 Operating Segments before finalising a report on the potential impact of endorsement for submission to the European Parliament in September 2007. The Commission seeks input from a broad range of constituents, including preparers, users, auditors, standard setters, and academics, via a questionnaire that it has posted.
The European Union has published two Commission Regulations in the Official Journal of the EU, thereby adopting IFRIC 10 and IFRIC 11 for use in Europe:
(PDF 45k) amending Regulation (EC) No 1725/2003 of 01 June 2007 adopting IFRIC 10 Interim Financial Reporting and Impairment.
(PDF 53k) amending Regulation (EC) No 1725/2003 of 01 June 2007 adopting IFRIC 11 IFRS 2 – Group and Treasury Share Transactions.
The heads of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) met on 27 April 2007 in Brussels to take stock of progress on the SEC and CESR Joint Financial Reporting Work Plan that was published in August 2006, and to discuss future collaboration.
The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has proposed a Parliamentary resolution that:
expresses significant concerns about the adoption of IFRS 8 Operating Segments in Europe;
calls on the European Commission to urgently carry out an in-depth impact assessment before endorsing the standard; and
states that, should the Commission fail to carry out the assessment, Parliament will carry out its own impact assessment.
Among the Committee's concerns about IFRS 8 are the following:
Changing from IAS 14 to IFRS 8 is a move "from a regime which clearly defines how listed EU companies should define and report on segments to an approach that permits management itself to define operating segments as management finds suitable and which furthermore requires a lower level of disclosure".
IFRS 8 should, but does not, include a defined measure of segment profit or loss, as IAS 14 does.
IFRS 8 does not require companies to use IFRS measures in their disclosures about operating segments, which may have a negative impact on the comparability of financial information and thus may pose difficulties for users (for example, investors).
Adopting IFRS 8 would "import into EU law an alien standard [SFAS 131] without having conducted any impact assessment".
Click to download the (PDF 89k) proposed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.
The United Kingdom Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) have signed a protocol for implementing the Work Plan that was agreed in August 2006 between the SEC and the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) for sharing information on the application of International Financial Reporting Standards by issuers listed in the UK and the US.
The Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) is seeking technical advice on a mechanism for
determining the equivalence of the generally accepted accounting principles of non-EU countries with IFRSs.
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