Fair, Balanced and Understandable: Enhancing Corporate Reporting and Assurance
This report investigates the impact of the FBU requirement on both corporate reporting and assurance and to consider whether it is feasible and desirable to upgrade the assurance provided on the 'front-half' from an exception-based to a positive opinion.
Effective corporate reporting is essential to the efficiency of the capital markets but in recent years there have been significant concerns as to whether corporate reporting and the current levels of assurance are meeting the needs of investors.
Various initiatives in corporate reporting have resulted in the ‘front-half’ of annual reports gaining greater prominence than has traditionally been the case - including the need for the annual report as a whole ‘to tell the story’. However, it remains the case that it is only the conventional financial statements (the ‘back-half’ of the annual report) that currently receive a ‘true and fair’ audit opinion.
In order to address this apparent dichotomy, ICAS commenced a programme of work investigating the scope of assurance on the narrative elements of the annual report and this research report is the next stage in that programme.
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