§ Mr. Tim Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many responses he has received to his Department's consultation document on the accounting and audit requirements for small companies; what proportion favoured change and what proportion favoured the retention of the status quo; and when he expects to make a statement of Government policy on this matter.
§ Mr. Howard
We have received a total of 204 resonses. Overall, views on the audit requirement are more or less evenly divided, though most of those arguing for its abolition would either limit it to "shareholder managed" companies or introduce in its place new rules relating to the preparation or certification of accounts. On accounting requirements, there is a clear majority for simplification, though a significant minority believe present requirements should be maintained and, in some cases, strengthened. Our analysis of the responses is now virtually complete and I would expect to announce the outcome in the course of the next few weeks.