Our third annual review of FTSE 350 annual reports and accounts looks at how annual reports are evolving to meet investors’ changing needs and interests.
Annual reporting in 2015: evolving communication in a changing world
EU audit reform is here
Is your board yet to realise the true value of culture?
Reporting: Issue 11
The Art and Science of Audit
Change of perspective: EU audit reform
UK Bribery Digest February 2016
The route to risk reduction: better rules or better decisions
Are you prepared for corporate reporting’s perfect storm?
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
Sweeping changes to accounting standards are coming — are you ready?
You operate in an increasingly uncertain business environment, complicated by the unprecedented range of potential changes to accounting standards. In this environment, management and audit committees are asking what they should be doing today to ready themselves for such significant change.
The IASB and FASB have undertaken a number of ambitious standard-setting projects to improve both IFRS and US generally accepted accounting principles as well as to work to achieve convergence. These new standards, when issued, are expected to significantly alter accounting treatments and disclosures in several critical areas, including financial instruments, leases and revenue recognition. The number of standards being revised is significant, but of greater importance is how the accounting for common transactions will change as a result of these standards.
Fraud, bribery and corruption continue to expose companies to heightened financial, regulatory and reputational risk
The findings of our European fraud survey 2011 indicate that there remains a widespread tolerance of unethical behavior that goes to the very top of a business. They show that, across Europe, bribery and corruption are considered to be rife, while few individuals are willing to recognize that it could happen in their own industry sectors. Despite this, respondents to our survey indicate that there has been a decline across the board in the use of anti-fraud and anti-bribery measures precisely during a period when the incentives to act unethically have been the highest.
There exists a real need for companies and those charged with their governance and oversight, to revisit their focus on the risks of fraud, bribery and corruption. Given the current environment, more robust anti-fraud and anti-corruption efforts are an imperative.
- 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 a valuable communications tool. They can help with cutting costs, efficiency, achieving business imperatives and accountability.
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Knowledge, analysis and insight to help businesses understand the economic environments in which they operate.
The report is based on a series of individual meetings and roundtables which brought together leading chairmen, board directors and senior investors to debate the issue of board effectiveness. It draws on the contributions from these discussions and is supplemented by insights and perspectives from EY and The Investment Association.
The FRC’s September 2014 revision to the UK Corporate Governance Code is creating discussion, particularly the changes relating to risk management, internal control effectiveness and the viability statement. To help companies understand these, we ran a webcast attended by over 300 finance leaders, and conducted live opinion polls to gain an understanding of participant views. Here’re some highlights.
A thoughtful response to the 2014 Corporate Governance Code’s new viability statement requirements could bring opportunities, including enhanced business resilience, a lower cost of capital, better understanding of risk appetite, and the potential for improved financial performance.
Our new thought leadership report The viability statement: Finding opportunities in the new regulatory challenge:
- highlights the opportunities for companies if they develop a thoughtful response to the changes (whilst also meeting compliance obligations)
- provides our views on some of the issues boards and management need to consider
- suggests actions companies should take to ensure they meet the new viability statement requirements in their 2015 ARAs.