Accounts are for users – let’s not forget it

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Sir Mike Rake has told the FT that:

Financial statements have become "meaninglessly complex" and accounting-standards setters should fix the current system instead of rushing to converge rulebooks.

He added:

We need simplification and clarification and we have an opportunity, by getting IFRS right, to provide that

Maybe. But he has to heed his own advice, which is:

We need to get what we've got right before rushing ahead. We have the opportunity right now to take a step back

Try starting with IFRS 8 Mike, I say. And take note of one of the amendments on that issue discussed by an EU Parliament committee this week which noted :

Regret that the impact assessment carried out by the Commission did not take sufficiently into account the interests of users

This is the key issue. The IASB has forgotten for whose benefit accounts are prepared. It's the users: shareholders, stakeholders and people in the street who count in this debate. Accountants, auditors and the companies themselves are secondary.

I want to hear Mike Rake say that. Then we'll be making progress.

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