On 24 June 2004 the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published a Discussion Paper on its proposal to develop a separate set of international accounting standards for small and medium-sized entities (SMEs). The Discussion Paper sets out the IASB’s preliminary views on aspects of the proposal.
The Discussion Paper does not include proposals for specific financial reporting standards for SMEs. That will come later. Instead, the Discussion Paper focuses on the Board’s approach to the project.
Introducing the Discussion Paper, Sir David Tweedie, IASB Chairman, said:
In most countries, many or even all entities have a legal obligation to prepare financial statements that conform to a required set of accounting principles that are generally accepted in that country. Those statutory financial statements are normally filed with a government agency and are available to creditors, suppliers, employees, government and others. The great majority of those entities are small or medium-sized entities—no matter how you define ‘small’ or ‘medium-sized’. Few countries require those entities to prepare financial statements that comply with the full requirements of the IASB’s standards developed primarily for use in international capital markets. Consequently the IASB is looking for ways to simplify its standards for use by SMEs. At the same time, it will take care to adhere to the basic concepts that underlie those standards.
To assist in the development of its proposals, the IASB has set up an advisory panel whose members can provide views and comments on specific issues. Also, because a number of the IASB’s preliminary views on standards for SMEs require an assessment of the needs of users of financial statements of SMEs, an informal user advisory group has been set up.
The Discussion Paper was open for comment until 24 September 2004.