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Businesses now required to include more detail in reports

New narrative reporting requirements for businesses in the UK are now in force, with the ICAEW saying they could provoke auditors into taking a new stance when it comes to assuring an annual report’s front end.

Annual reports will now need to include details of a business’s greenhouse gas emissions and its approaches to human rights and gender representation. Business owners will no doubt want to ensure that their accountants in Eastham, or wherever they are based, are armed with facts as well as figures

The ICAEW says that auditors can realistically assure a part of a report, if not the whole thing, if it is wanted by the public and investors.

ICAEW Executive Director Robert Hodgkinson said:

“Anything is possible. Extending this assurance to the full annual report could in the future become a vital part of making business information more trustworthy.

“There is increasing emphasis worldwide on the first half of annual reports and how they can equip investors and other stakeholders with information on which to base decisions. But the big question is whether this information is trustworthy.”

The old business review has now been replaced by a strategic report. The purpose is to enable each business to tell their entire story, including details of business model, strategy, principal challenges and the risks they have taken.

The ICAEW said that more and more businesses want assurances on certain sections of the report that lie beyond the conventional financial data in order to make market information more credible.

Posted by Louise
October 9, 2013

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