The level of IFRS enforcement in Europe
increased by 7% to 799 actions in 2010, according to a report by
the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

ESMA reviewed about 1,700 financial reports in
2010 of which 1,000 were subject to a full review, a drop of 200
compared to 2009 while 700 were subject to a partial review.

These reviews resulted in around 799
enforcement actions by national enforcers, 730 in 2009, of which
one in five were subject to European coordination.

“With increased responsibilities assigned,
ESMA, together with national competent authorities will continue to
further improve its activities ensuring consistent application of
IFRS in Europe and ensure that accurate, clear and consistent
information is provided to investors,” ESMA chairman Steven Maijoor

The main issues arising from the accountants
subject to partial review and full review were in relation to:
impairment of assets, financial instruments disclosure, operating
segments, going concern and classification of liabilities.

Other accounting areas identified by enforcers

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  • disclosure on impairment of non-financial
  • measurement and presentation of non-current
    assets held for sale; and
  • discontinued operations or aspects related to
    share-based payments.

The enforcement actions taken by enforcers
included actions requiring the issuance of revised financial
statements, corrective notes and other public announcements. About
240 of the actions taken by enforcers required public corrective
notes, issuance or revised financial statements.