US change on accounting rules welcomed by EU

WASHINGTON, Nov 15, 2007 (AFP) – A top EU regulator on Thursday welcomed a move by the US Securities and Exchange Commission to abolish rules that had obliged publicly-listed European companies to comply with US accounting standards. SEC regulators approved new rules which will no longer oblige publicly-traded EU companies with operations in the United States to file accounting reports that comply with the US’ Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

“They did approve it unanimously,” Kevin Callahan, an SEC spokesman, said of the new rules, which will make it easier for EU companies to operate in the United States.

The SEC’s move will also make it cheaper for EU companies to do business in the world’s biggest economy, as they will no longer have to hire accountants to file accounting statements under GAAP.

“I very much welcome this historical step by the SEC on the road towards global accounting standards. I have congratulated SEC Chairman (Christopher) Cox for this decision which will benefit EU companies with a US listing,” said European Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy.

“We are making major strides towards one global accounting language and many more countries are likely to foll