IFRS for SMEs

Currently under review by the ASB is a proposal that will revolutionise the way UK companies prepare their financial statements. If the plans get the go ahead, these are the accounting systems that UK companies will use to prepare their accounts from as early as 2012:

  • IFRS for AIM & Quoted companies
  • IFRS for other ‘publicly accountable entities’ e.g. Investment trusts, building societies
  • IFRSSE for non publicly accountable entities
  • UK FRSSE for small companies

The ‘IFRSSE’ is the International Standards Boards’ version of the Financial Reporting Standard for Small Entities that we have currently in the UK. It is a ‘one stop shop’ standard that covers all areas of financial reporting in one standard. Users will only need to look at the IFRSSE rather than the full standards when compiling their satutory accounts.

The IFRSSE was published last year and is very similar in style to its UK equivalent. The difference in content is that it offers a simplified version of International rather than UK Standards.

However, and it’s a big ‘however’, as you can see from the above list, the difference in impact is huge. While the UK FRSSE is used by companies that qualify as ‘small’ under the Companies Act, the UK’s Accounting Standards Board is proposing that this new standard will apply to all of those companies that fall in between the larger IFRS users and the small companies using the UK FRSSE.

This is potentially the biggest change to UK accounting since standards were introduced back in the 1970’s. You still have time to comment as the period doesn’t close until February. Press comments so far do suggest that the proposal faces no real opposition and so it does look likely to get the go ahead.

As always we will be offering courses on the content of the IFRSSE. You can either book a course for your organisation and we also hope to offer some public programmes.

Keep reading your accounting magazines for updates!