'Convergent enforcement' of IFRSs in Europe

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04 Jul 2006

The Committee of European Securities Regulators has published its (PDF 2,181k).

The report notes that one of CESR's key objectives for 2006 is "facilitating convergent enforcement of IFRSs for all listed companies in Europe". CESR's work in the area of financial reporting in Europe is coordinated by CESR-Fin, a permanent operational group within CESR chaired by John Tiner, Chief Executive of the UK Financial Services Authority. Writing in CESR's 2005 report, Mr. Tiner states:

Since January 2005 we have seen International Accounting Standards (IAS/IFRS) adopted for all EU listed groups – the most radical and important change in financial accounting since the introduction of the 4th and 7th Company Law Directives. With the introduction of IFRS in Europe, the vision under the Financial Services Action Plan of a single set of financial statements for listed companies is now becoming a reality, the primary objective being to allow community companies to compete on an equal footing for financial resources available in the capital markets. In this context, the next two years will be crucial as IAS/IFRS are applicable to nearly 8,000 listed group companies across the EU.

CESR was closely associated to the process that led to the introduction of the standards in the EU, notably through its monitoring work on the development and adoption of the EU standards, or with the publication of additional recommendations accompanying the transition to IFRS, but also with the advice given in June 2005 to the European Commission on the equivalence between certain third country GAAP and IFRS. Now that we are starting to see IFRS information and the process becomes more real, we must move on to think about consistency of application and interpretation.

CESR-Fin has already taken the initiative to help with the development of robust and coordinated enforcement across the EU by establishing a framework for discussion and information sharing among European enforcement agencies. It is in everyone's interests for the standards to be applied, interpreted and enforced consistently in all major capital markets, and for investors to have confidence in financial information from listed companies. In this context, the coordination of enforcement activities and consolidation of our relationship with third-countries' enforcement agencies will be high on the agenda of CESR-Fin for the near future.

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