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Small businesses given a big help with new accounting rules

Over 100 Northern Ireland companies have gathered to hear how worldwide changes to financial reporting rules will affect them.

Business advisory firm BDO hosted a seminar in Belfast to help small businesses prepare for changes to accounting rules.

From July 1 2013, companies across the world will all have to adhere to the same international standards for financial reporting.

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have been drawn up by the IFRS Foundation and the International Accounting Standards Body (IASB).

Patrick Buchanan, financial director at engineering firm McLaughlin Harvey, said the seminar had been a useful event for local businesses making preparations to comply with the new legislation.

He said: "There are a number of significant changes in financial reporting such as the transition to IFRS that will require implementation in the next few years.

"These changes will have a major impact on how companies present their financial statements."

Under the proposed changes, all publicly accountable entities will have to use the IFRS which the EU adopted and began to implement in 2005.

Unlisted companies will use a new standard based on a UK adaptation of IFRS for SMEs, known as Financial Reporting for Medium-Sized Entities (FRSME)

Small companies without public accountability will use the existing Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (FRSSE).