Fabian Demicoli

Accounting Directive will boost SMEs by reducing admin burdens

 Irish Presidency secures agreement on key remaining part of
Single Market Act I. This Directive will cut red tape for SMEs and increase
transparency with inclusion of "country-by-country" reporting. The agreement secured this week in Brussels by the Irish
Presidency on the Accounting Directive is another major step in reducing red
tape for European SMEs, according to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and
Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, current chair of the Competitiveness Council.

The Directive is one of the final outstanding parts
of the Single Market Act I. Minister Bruton – "At the heart of this
Directive is the drive
to cut red tape and reduce the administrative burden on SMEs. That is
why this
agreement is so important".

One of the Directive's key proposals is the simplification of
accounting rules for SMEs. Among the measures contained in the draft Directive
are the reduction of reporting requirements for SMEs and the introduction of an
exemption from preparing consolidated financial statements for small groups.

The Directive also incorporates a number of measures designed
to enhance financial transparency. The provisions made for Country-by-Country
Reporting will dramatically increase the transparency of payments made to
governments by European companies involved in the extractive industries. The
Reports will assist the citizens of resource-rich countries in holding their
governments to account for the use made of payments received from EU
undertakings active in the extractive industries or in the exploitation of
primary forests.

The agreement reached week will require final approval by the
Committee of Permanent Representatives.

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