§ 100. Dr. Bray
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why Her Majesty's Government have not given consideration to the introduction of more uniform and consistent accounting methods, periods and classifications, required for company reports, the reports of public bodies, taxation, and statistical purposes, by the Treasury, the Board of Inland Revenue, the Board of Trade and other Government Departments, in view of the simplification and opportunities for increased efficiency this would provide inside and outside Government.
§ Mr. Barber
The implication in the Question that these points have not been considered by the Government is incorrect. Uniform accounting methods would no doubt simplify the collection of statistics but it is necessary to consider other aspects as well. Circumstances vary so widely between businesses that no one basis of accounting42W is equally suitable for all types of business, nor even for all undertakings within a particular trade or industry. The imposition of any single standard would therefore have serious drawbacks for individual firms. If all businesses had to make up their accounts for the same financial year there would be a very heavy peak load for accountants and auditors, and this would result in delays in the publication of accounts. So far as public bodies are concerned, there is already a good deal of uniformity in the accounts of the nationalised industries and consideration is being given to the possibility of making further improvements.