FRC revamp brings an end to ASB

The Accounting Standards Board ended its 22-year life with a whimper on 2 July, when the UK’s standard-setting body was absorbed into the Financial Reporting Council’s new Codes and Standards division.

The demise of the ASB and its satellite, the Urgent Issues Task Force, is part of a £1m revamp under which the FRC assumed full responsibility for accounting standards at the beginning of this month. The newly unified council said it would be more independent from those it regulates, and a more proportionate range of sanctions. In practice, this will mean less focus on monitoring and enforcement and more on accountants’ work in preparing and auditing reports for capital markets.

Responsibility for professional misconduct (other than those currently going through the Accountancy and Actuarial Disciplinary Board) will be handled by the main accountancy bodies.  

In its new guise as the Accounting Council, the FRC unit comprising the old ASB will play a more advisory role, reporting to the FRC Codes and Standards Committee on priorities for its work plan, detailed technical advice on draft standards, and scanning the horizon for new issues to consider. In practical terms, existing FRSs and SSAPs developed by the ASB (and its predecessor) will remain in force and the development of technical guidance and codes of practice will continue much as before under the leadership of the FRC’s new executive director of Codes and Standards Melanie McLaren. 

Continued...

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Comments
should_be_working's picture

Numbers'n'stuff    1 thanks

should_be_working | | Permalink

If the ASB came into being in 1990, doesn't that make it a 22-year history? (Not that I can really remember myself - I was still a mere audit junior, emptying the waste paper bins when the cleaners were on holiday....)

Renamed in 1990.    1 thanks

leon0001 | | Permalink

1976 to 2012 is 36 years.

By the way, what are "Stanndards" and "navel gtazing"?

John Stokdyk's picture

ICAS comments

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

ICAS executive director for technical policy and services David Wood offered AccountingWEB the following insights based on  the institute’s response to the FRC consultation process, which was prepared with input from current ICAS president and former ASB chairman Sir David Tweedie:

“Our biggest concern was that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The UK has international influence and our concern was that the restructuring might take away the authority of the standards body and reduce its influence internationally. 

“The ASB is joining the FRC’s Codes & Standards advisory council alongside the main audit, actuarial and corporate governance bodies. There will probably only be two people on that board with accounting knowledge. Will they be able to get good debates going?

“As far as convergence goes, I don’t think we’re there yet. We can see arguments continuing for 5-10 years. If the UK is going to maintain its influence, it needs to maintain the current level of discussion and research. As soon as it gives up that role, it loses authority.

“It remains to be seen if we’ll retain that influence - the jury’s out.”