French ANC Proposes Simplification of Accounting Obligations for Small Listed Companies in Europe
In accordance with the European Regulation No 1606/2002 the application of IFRSs is mandatory in the consolidated financial statements of all listed companies irrespective of their size. The French national standard setter Autorité des Normes Comptables (ANC) has now published a proposal for the simplification of the accounting requirements for small listed companies.
The ANC claims that the application of full IFRSs is often burdensome for small listed companies. Therefore, it would be preferable to adapt their accounting obligations to their size, without either diminishing the quality of the reporting or introducing a new set of accounting principles. Thus, the ANC is not suggesting to introduce a set of accounting standards such as the IFRS for SMEs which is, moreover, designed for unlisted entities. This would, according to the ANC, deprive small listed companies of the benefit of a single set of internationally recognized accounting standards, namely full IFRS.
The ANC sees a viable alternative in the simplification of the existing accounting framework. Two ways of simplifying IFRSs for small listed companies are suggested:
- Reduce the volume of the notes by simplifying the current disclosure requirements under IFRSs.
- Facilitate the preparation and improve the readability and relevance of the notes to the financial statements by offering an illustrative set of simplified financial statements.
The ANC makes detailed suggestions as to where disclosure requirements can be simplified and has compiled an illustrative set of financial statements.