So what’s happening in Brussels??

  • Andrew Guntert
  • 4 July 2013 00:00

And we don't mean chocolate, chips, or even tiny problems with the Euro!

About 18 months ago, European Commissioners proposed revisions to both the Accounting and Auditing Directives, which are likely to have a most significant impact on UK Accountants and their clients.

For example, a Commissioner called Michel Barnier made a proposal that could have led to 2 or 3 of the Big 4 firms having to split into entirely separate Audit and non Audit firms, and proposed mandatory rotation of auditors for listed companies after 6 years.

It was rumoured that recruiting staff to a purely Audit firm could have been a challenge!

Well the Accounting Directive is nearly with us (see our latest Mercia Newswire for more detail). The impact on the accounts of small companies will be considerable (as indeed will be the increase in the number of small companies and the reduction in the number of companies requiring a statutory audit).

But the Auditing Directive is making very very slow progress!

Have you ever wondered what the consequences might be of making proposals that could have an adverse commercial impact on large influential entities? Might it possibly be quite difficult to carry these through? Yes is the answer!

Compromises are being made which may either satisfy all interested parties, or possibly none of them. I did discover last week that the current maximum period of time taken for a Proposal to turn into a Directive is apparently 29 years!

We may have to be patient in waiting for the Audit Directive - though actually it looks likely to have very little impact on owner managed entities.

We wondered if any of you have any thoughts on the impact of Europe on the Accountancy profession, or indeed any (printable) thoughts on the power of the largest firms? Do let us know!

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