The key objectives of the study were:
- to provide an overview of the accounting requirements in force and of the good accounting practices adopted in 20 European countries for all legal forms of enterprises;
- to identify users' perceived needs for accounting information from SMEs in Europe, along with SMEs' own needs for accounting information in the non-financial business economy.
The main findings of the study were:
- It can be concluded that even if there is some interest in the accounting documentation of medium-sized entities, this level of interest is lower and it decreases as the size of the entities decreases (i.e. small- and micro- sized).
- As a general conclusion it can be noted that the results of the survey have clearly highlighted a perceived need for simplification of accounting requirements from both the users' and preparers' point of view.
- The respondents to the survey showed a general need to reduce the accounting requirements already in force, insofar as they are perceived as non-essential to the internal needs of enterprise monitoring and management. This need increases as the size of the entity decreases.
General recommendations are:
- possible policy initiatives aimed at an enhanced simplification of accounting shall take into account the size criterion (medium, small, and micro-sized) as a guideline for every kind of legislative initiative;
- simplification of the accounting documentation requirements;
- exemption from accounting requirements either by introducing new thresholds or by a harmonisation of the existing thresholds.