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WOCCU IASB to reconsider CU accounting standards
LONDON (9/11/08)--The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Wednesday agreed to reconsider applying its International Financial Reporting Standards to credit unions, based on a comment letter submitted earlier this year by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). “IASB's reconsideration of its standards is rare as a rulemaking body,” Dave Grace, WOCCU vice president of association services, said. “We consider the move a strong vote of confidence in the global credit union movement.” Certain provisions in the IASB-proposed accounting standards for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) could be detrimental to credit unions, according to an April 4 letter by Grace to IASB board member Thomas E. Jones. WOCCU’s greatest concerns focused on the draft’s failure to clearly identify to whom the standards apply and failure to clearly sufficiently simplify reporting requirements for smaller institutions, Grace wrote. “Excluding credit unions from the scope of the SME standards and requiring adherence to the full IFRS is both impractical and counter to the IASB’s intention of making accounting requirements more accessible to smaller non-listed institutions,” Grace said. IASB has indicated that credit unions take public deposits, requiring that members be given access to full International Financial Reporting Standards as opposed to the simplified SME standards. However, IASB agreed to reconsider whether credit unions would fit within the scope of entities employing the SME reporting standards. Grace's letter said standards should be applied to entities that hold assets “for a broad group of outsiders such as a bank, insurance entity, securities broker/dealer, pension fund, mutual fund or investment banking entity.” Failure to include credit unions in the list may imply inclusion in full International Financial Reporting Standards, which could create insurmountable hurdles for many SMEs, WOCCU said. IASB is expected to respond to WOCCU’s recommendation by year-end. WOCCU will work with its member organizations and other interested parties to mobilize support for IASB’s reconsideration of its standards.
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