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.