The ambitious road map to give the world a single accountancy standard - by converging U.S. generally accepted accounting principles with International Financial Reporting Standards by 2008 - may be fraught with bumps, potholes and even worse along the way, it was revealed at a recent conference of the European Accountants Federation, here.Delegates at the conference heard that the convergence plan would involve much more than a simple "clean up" of the U.S rules-based accountancy system dating back to the 1930s and the EU's brand-new principles-based system.

European Commissioner for Internal Markets and Services Charlie McCreevy took aim at the London-based International Accounting Standards Board and stressed that, "Convergence is not an invitation to standard-setters to try and advance the theoretical frontiers of accounting. I will not take on board any revolutionary new standards. [Convergence] should be a practical exercise, firmly anchored in business reality, to be undertaken in the interests of users and investors. The main objective is to try and narrow the differences between the existing standards, not to make accounts even more indigestible with a whole set of new standards. We will not be adding new carriages to the IFRS train, just as it has left the station."

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