“26% of top UK companies believe they will not be ready to report on an International Financial Reporting Standards basis by early 2005”

London, June 21, 2004

UK readiness worst in Europe

– Reveals Atos KPMG Consulting –

Research released today by Atos KPMG Consulting, part of Atos Origin, has revealed that 26% of the UK's top companies believe they will not be ready by early 2005 to report on an International Financial Reporting Standards basis. According to the research, which was compiled following interviews with finance directors at 200 top companies in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, companies in the UK areless prepared than their counterparts in France, Germany and the Netherlands for the EU deadline.

Download report: "IFRS - Achieving 2005: Are you ready?" (PDF, 2.99Mb)

Key findings of the report

  • UK companies are the least prepared amongst companies in the survey with 26% of companies saying that they will not be ready by early 2005 - compared to the 12% average across France, Germany and the Netherlands.
  • Only 2% of UK companies are ready now compared to an average of 20% in the other three countries.
  • 92% of the top companies in the Netherlands are expecting to be ready by Q1 2005.
  • Five times as many companies in the latter stages of preparation believe that IFRS compliance will cost over €1m compared to those in the early stages of preparation. The implication is that late starters may be underestimating the size and complexity of the task.
  • The majority of companies in the latter stages of preparation expected that their IFRS projects would result in improved financial controls, whereas only a third of the late starters believed their projects would provide this benefit. The implication is that the better prepared companies have been able to focus their IFRS projects on providing business benefit as well as on compliance.

“Companies must review the delivery risks and benefits in their IFRS projects now,” said Scott Parker, managing director, Atos KPMG Consulting. “The best organisations view IFRS as more than just an accounting issue. They are already looking at business results and budgets prepared on an IFRS basis and are able to explain the impact to investors. It is these companies that will improve their peer ranking over the next few years.”

“Many companies believe they are on track to implement the new standards on time within their finance functions but it is where the new standards affect core processes, IT systems, staff retraining and the way the business is managed that companies are moving too slowly,” said Philip Davies, IFRS practice lead, Atos KPMG Consulting. “Implementing IFRS throughout an organisation can and should deliver business benefits. Introducing IFRS provides an opportunity to look at standardisation and streamlining of process and controls – improving financial control and ultimately reducing the cost of the financial reporting process. Standardisation opens up other opportunities such as setting up shared service centres for reporting and even outsourcing.”

The survey was compiled through two hundred 10 minute detailed telephone interviews conducted with CFO or Finance Director level individuals over January and February 2004 by Benchmark Research Ltd. All of the companies were in the top 350 in their own country with 80 of the companies interviewed being classed as top 100 in their own country.


About Atos KPMG Consulting Ltd
Atos KPMG Consulting Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atos Origin, a leading international information technology (IT) services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are more than EUR 5 billion and it employs 47,000 people in 50 countries. Atos Origin's clients include ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel, Alstom, BNP Paribas, BP, Ericsson, EDF, Euronext, Fiat, France Telecom, ICI, ING, KPN, Lucent, National Express, Network Rail, Philips, Renault, Royal Bank of Scotland, Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, Shell, Telecom Italia, UBS, Unilever, UK Department for Work and Pensions, Vivendi Universal and Vodafone.

Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Euronext Premier Marché and trades as Atos Origin, AtosEuronext, Atos Worldline, Atos KPMG Consulting and Atos Odyssée.

Please note that Atos KPMG Consulting Ltd is not connected with the accountancy firm KPMG.

For further information, please contact:
Caroline Crouch at ATOS Origin
Email: caroline.crouch@atosorigin.com