Making corporate reports readable

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland is pleased to announce the publication of Making Corporate Reports Readable. The document demonstrates that it is possible to produce a corporate report in less than 30 pages which tells management's story of what is important – eliminating the boilerplate narrative and providing decision-useful information.

Making corporate reports readable

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Making Corporate Reports Readable comes as the debate surrounding complexity in corporate reporting has gained momentum. The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC), and the US Security and Exchange Commission's Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting have been considering the complexity of financial statements. The Financial Reporting Council published their discussion paper 'Louder Than Words' in June 2009, suggesting a principles-based approach to corporate reporting.

Hugh Shields, Chairman of the ICAS Corporate Reporting Task Force and Head of External Reporting for Deutsche Bank, developed the Short Form Report.

Commenting on the report Shields said, "It's clear that something radical must be done. The annual report has become a Frankenstein's monster of information intended for a number of different users. However, at its heart, financial reporting is about effective communication with investors. That's why 'Making Corporate Reports Readable' is aimed unashamedly at meeting the needs of the investment community."

The Short Form Report will not replace the annual report and financial statements. Rather, it will utilise alternative reporting technologies such as XBRL and allow the user access to the more detailed information available in the full report via web links. The full annual report and financial statements will still be sitting behind the Short Form Report, easily available to anyone who needs the detail.

The Short Form Report could eventually replace the annual review and summary financial statements. ICAS will be widely consulting over the coming months with investors, issuers and other stakeholders and welcomes comments from all interested parties.


  • Thought leadership
  • Corporate and financial reporting

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