25 December 2000

Accounting Standard Setting in Europe

In October 1999, FEE published a Discussion paper on a Financial Reporting Strategy within Europe. During the discussions establishing this paper and also in follow-up discussions, it became clear that there was no clear overview of the accounting standard setting bodies in Europe and also no clear picture of the various existing enforcement mechanisms in Europe. Therefore, FEE decided to carryout two surveys, one on accounting standard setting, and one on enforcement mechanisms in order to obtain the necessary background information. The surveys are factual and descriptive in nature and do not conclude on the merits of one system compared to another. This study concerns accounting standard setting in Europe. It hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the structure, membership and type of standards in the financial reporting fielding the various European countries.

The study provides general information about the accounting standard setting bodies in Europe. Further details, e.g. a description of each national standard setter; the background of current members of the Boards of standard setters; the bodies with the right to nominate members of the Boards of standard setters; and the parties involved in funding of the standard setters, are given in the appendices. The study focuses on the standard setting concerning accounting standards for consolidated financial statements, where such a differentiation can be made. The detailed country descriptions in the appendix may also give some information about standard setting concerning individual financial statements for some countries.

The study shows large differences in structure and in operation between standard setters in Europe. This may in itself have formed a barrier so far to a European coordination of standard setters and be a reason why there is currently not such a formal coordination. The study provides background information which we believe is of help in the debate on the financial reporting strategy both at European and international level.

Position Paper


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