International financial services provider Allianz is at the forefront of European insurers calling for a new regime of accounting standards for insurance contracts.

Allianz and the other members of the CFO Forum, which was formed by the CFOs of major European insurers in 2002, are seeking an overhaul of accounting rules for the insurance industry.

This is the first time that European companies have come together to achieve a common objective in the accounting framework. Allianz and other members of the CFO Forum, supported by the European insurance federation (CEA), are trying to reshape the industry’s accounting framework.

Dr Helmut Perlet, board member responsible for accounting and current chairman of the CFO Forum believes the industry’s current accounting regime is not satisfactory and he argues that financial statements should better reflect what is happening within a business organization.

We need a standard that really reflects the way we manage our business. We want to introduce a harmonized accounting standard for insurance contracts, said Mr Perlet.

Our main objective is to improve the presentation of our financial statements to better reflect the reality of our business. Investors, shareholders and other users of financial statements need access to clear, comparable and relevant financial information.

The European Insurance CFO Forum published its proposals for the new accountancy rules on June 22, after submitting the proposals to the International Accounting Standards Board. Its aim is to publish a new standard for the insurance industry by 2009 or 2010.