The former finance director of railway operator MTR Corporation talks to Reporting about public transport and private equity.
Stephen Law: A man on a journey | Reporting
Global Fraud Survey 2016
Reporting: Issue 11 – April 2016
Are you prepared for corporate reporting’s perfect storm?
Our commitment to audit quality
Tomorrow’s Investment Rules 2.0
Pro forma financial information
Trends in independent board leadership structures
Webcast: The new revenue recognition standard
Meeting today’s auditing, financial and reporting challenges
The global business landscape is being reshaped by transformational events and trends. And that means the financial and reporting environment is also being reshaped, resulting in significant challenges for management, boards, audit committees and auditors.
We can help you understand and address today's most critical financial and reporting issues.
- Accounting change
When change is on the agenda
It's not just about guidance. It's about where your business is going.
Worldwide, standards setters have never been more active—and the scope of ongoing accounting change is unprecedented. Even without a move to IFRS in the US near-term, accounting guidance is forecasted to undergo unprecedented change in the next few years.
But managing accounting change is not only about monitoring changes proposed by the FASB and the IASB. Even while standards setters are working to converge standards in critical areas—including accounting for leases, revenue recognition, and financial instruments—companies make strategic decisions that require significant accounting change as well. These may include:
- Strategic acquisitions that require conversions from or to US GAAP
- Equity investments, IPOs, or debt offerings, where you need to understand the impact on your balance sheet
- Derivatives contracts for commodities, or complex financial instruments
- Transformational changes to financial reporting processes, such as ERP or shared service implementations
Any of these initiatives can dictate changes to your accounting and financial reporting—and can affect key financial performance measures. All can change your profile of risk. To address their impact, you'll need to review accounting treatments and disclosures in critical areas, reexamine financial reporting processes, and effect systems change. We can help.
Integrity delivers benefits
Companies that act with integrity in addressing fraud, bribery and corruption have an advantage with real business benefits. To that end, we help companies manage risk, investigate alleged misconduct and measure the financial implications of disputes.
When unusual financial activity is suspected, we can investigate, perform electronic evidence discovery and review financial reports — all with the sensitivity and urgency required. And, except as it relates to those companies we audit, if necessary, we can provide expert witness testimony to explain our findings.
That’s why some of the world’s largest companies — and many of its best-known law firms — turn to EY.
Check back for our 12th Global Fraud Survey, scheduled for release in May. In the meantime, see Bribery and corruption: navigating the global risk, which highlights some of the ways bribery and corruption create an uneven playing field in trade, commerce and government.
- Corporate governance
Increasing transparency, improving control
Economic conditions generally improved during the past year, but uncertainties still remain. The world is demanding greater corporate transparency. Investors want access to more accurate and relevant information about companies, transactions, markets and risks. Regulators are moving to exert more control.
There’s much debate about how corporate governance should evolve. It’s a debate that’s being held against a background of legislative and regulatory change, the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards and increased public scrutiny. We believe that global coordination is a necessity, not a luxury, in today’s interconnected and interdependent markets. Regulators and standard-setters need to continue to work together, to promote global consistency.
- Sustainability reporting
A growing trend toward disclosure of nonfinancial information
In the face of mounting pressure to be transparent, an increasing number of organizations are choosing to report on sustainability or corporate social responsibility (CSR). Sustainability reports help internal and external stakeholders understand how well the organization adheres to the "triple bottom line" of environmental, social and economic performance.
Seven things you should know about sustainability reporting
- 3,000+ companies issue sustainability reports.
- Stakeholders increasingly expect companies to provide sustainability reports.
- Sustainability reporting can bring operational improvements, strengthen compliance and enhance corporate reputation.
- Reports should contain key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to the reporter's industry, such as materiality, stakeholder inclusiveness, sustainability context and completeness.
- Sustainability reports are more closely monitored than ever before.
- Sustainability reporting presents many challenges, including:
- Data consistency
- Striking a balance between positive and negative information
- Continually improving performance
- Keeping reports readable and concise
- Sustainability reports can be valuable communications tools. They can help with cutting costs, and achieving efficiency, business imperatives and accountability.
- Accounting, auditing and governance/regulatory matters
Accounting and auditing
Accounting and auditing matters continue to evolve at a fast pace. Trying to stay ahead of what’s next is critical. AccountingLink is your virtual newsstand of US technical accounting guidance and financial reporting thought leadership.
It’s a fast and easy way to get access to the publications produced by our US Professional Practice Group as well as the latest guidance proposed by the standard setters.
Our updated AccountingLink site makes it easy for you to read and locate important publications and resources such as:
- To the Point
- Technical Line
- Joint Project Watch
- Financial Reporting Developments
- Standard Setter Update
- Financial Reporting Briefs
- SEC Financial Reporting Series
- SEC Comments and Trends
- US Week in Review
- Links to valuable resources, including our global IFRS website on ey.com
Governance and regulatory matters
Regulatory activity in the US and around the global has increased tremendously. Policymakers have been very active in proposing reforms to corporate governance, financial reporting and the role of audits and the audit profession.
We are actively monitoring this activity and have developed a series of materials to help you understand the ever-evolving landscape as well as provide insight into our point of view on new measures.