With International Financial Reporting Standards becoming a requirement for accounts beginning on or after January 1 2005, some companies have attempted to seize the initiative by converting to the new standards early. Helen Kearney looks at why the Government will not let them
With all the doomsayers predicting a mad rush to prepare for the conversion to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) this year, Tim Haywood, finance director of Birmingham-based property company St Modwen, thought it would be a good idea to convert to the new standards a year early.
The company is one of only two listed on the London Stock Exchange with a year-end of November 30, meaning it would be in the last group to undergo the IFRS conversion, which is compulsory for all company accounts from January 1 2005.
However, just as Haywood and his team were in the midst of the conversion process, he was informed by the FTSE 250 company's auditors, Ernst & Young, that it was illegal to apply the new standards early.
"We were all prepared to be leading edge, if not bleeding edge, but we were …