Following last week’s European election the accounting profession has called on the newly elected European Parliament (EP) to focus on the issues that matters.

The Institute of Chartered Accountant of England and Wales (ICAEW) identified a series of issues which the incoming EP should focus on to build a more competitive and sustainable European economy.

ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza said that the EU policy making had to be remodeled in order to achieve the right growth in Europe. "This would entail better evaluation of the impact of EU laws, a slimmed-down Commission where commissioners are focussed on key priority areas, increased participation and collaboration in policy-making and the use of ‘regulatory budgets’ to cap the costs of new regulations," he said.

Izza also said that amongst the top priorities for the new EP should be to "create the right framework for businesses to flourish, step up actions to fix public finances and encourage Member States to equip young people with the skills they need to compete and prosper in a competitive, global economy".

Izza hailed the reforms and new regulations of the last fiver years as necessary ones but he said it was now important that over the next five years the EP "creates a calmer atmosphere for businesses with greater regulatory constraint".

He concluded that to achieve these goals it was "important that members of the European Parliament engage both with the process throughout and with business, regulators and the professions to deliver legislation that is effective and proportionate".

Vulnerable public finance
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) has called for a swift adoption of accounting and auditing reforms to address the vulnerable public finances of the European member states.

"In the absence of good information, markets and voters have been, and remain in, a poor position to understand the real fiscal condition of member states," CIPFA said in a statement. "Europe, and many member states, have yet to accept that high quality fiscal management relies on high quality financial information, which in turn requires accounting in line with international public sector accounting standards."

CIPFA chief executive Rob Whiteman said little had been done to address the issues which helped trigger the crisis. "CIPFA therefore calls on the new Commission and Parliament to act urgently to prevent further crisis," he said. "Confidence in financial management by governments cannot be restored without significant improvements in accounting and auditing by many, or most, member states."

Related links: