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Splitting accountability hairs: anomalies in the adaptation of IFRS for SMEs in the UK and Ireland

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Recent years have witnessed a significant shift in the financial reporting frameworks available in the UK and Ireland affecting entities of all sizes with the Financial Reporting Council issuing three financial reporting standards replacing the extant UK GAAP. This paper reports the results of a content analysis of 151 comment letters sent to the standard-setter in response to its policy proposal. The paper explains why the standard-setter stepped back from its controversial proposal to enforce IFRS for SMEs based on the absence of public accountability. Additionally, the standard-setter addressed all concerns positively apart from two, representing anomalies. First, despite being opposed by the majority of the respondents, the standard-setter published a new framework for wholly-owned subsidiaries of listed companies allowing them to make substantially less disclosure. Second, the standard-setter is yet to respond to the call by the accounting profession and the Not-for-profit sector to publish a sector-specific framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-203
Number of pages21
JournalAccounting in Europe
Issue number2
Early online date25 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020


  • ARAFAT_2020_cright_AE_Splitting Accountability Hairs

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Accounting Europe on 25.05.2020, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 490 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 25/11/21

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