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May 31, 2011

German standard setter secures future funding

The Accounting Standards Committee of Germany (ASCG), which only recently was on the verge of collapse, has secured funding for the next three years and unveiled a new oversight structure.

German Accounting Standards Board (GASB) president Liesel Knorr said the ASCG secured 95% of a target three-year budget of €2.35 million ($3.37 million) by appealing to existing members and potential new contributors, mainly SMEs.

 “In target budget, we set out to gather €2 million in order to guarantee our existence and €350,000 in order to pay our mandatory contribution to the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG),” Knorr said.

The ASCG has been privately funded since it was established in 1998 and Knorr said that even through turbulent times the government refused to help fund the body.

The ASCG has also set up a trustees board, comprising of members from all stakeholder groups, which will be responsible for setting the broad strategy of the standard setter in the future.

The standard setter’s general assembly is believed to be in favour of the updated constitution of the ASCG and will elect members of the supervisory board and nominating committee at its next meeting on 20 July.

A close call

The first signs of trouble at the ASCG surfaced in June 2010 when it gave notice to Germany’s Ministry of Justice that it was terminating its contract to act as the national standard setter on 31 December 2010.

The ACSG was plagued by an inability to secure funding and concerns from constituents that it does not adequately represent the views of the German profession at the European and international levels.

At the time, the German standard setter said it has been squeezed by claims for money and resources from the EFRAG.

Now funding has been assured, the ASCG will begin to renegotiate the standardisation contract with the Ministry of Justice.

“This can take up to four months and we are hoping to see the agreement back in place by September,” she added.

The Ministry of Justice is said to be relieved at the new funding arrangement. If the ASCG was unable to continue, the Ministry would be tasked with standard-setting in Germany.


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