This timely conference will consider next steps for financial reporting and corporate governance powers in the UK - looking at accountability, stewardship and the future for boardroom regulation.
The agenda includes a keynote contribution from Anthony Appleton, Director, Accounting and Reporting Policy, Financial Reporting Council who will discuss the future of financial reporting.
It comes at a time of significant proposed reform:
- Publication by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of its new Stewardship Code aimed at strengthening reporting on purpose, value and culture, recognition by companies of environmental, social and governance factors, and widening the scope of where responsibilities for stewardship by businesses apply;
- As the CMA prepares the final report of its review of the audit sector following the publication of its update paper;
- Following the launch by government of the independent Brydon Review into UK Audit Standards; and
- With the Government considering its response to the findings of the final report of the independent review into the FRC.
Delegates will discuss the likely implications of proposals set out in the CMA’s update paper on its review of the audit sector.
The review has raised serious competition concerns and has proposed legislation to separate auditing and consultancy services, increase the accountability of audit committee chairs and introduce a ‘joint audit’ regime designed to increase competition outside the Big Four.
Attendees will consider further options for the final market study as well as how proposed measures may impact on the practicalities of the auditing processes, the ability of UK audit firms to audit international companies and the additional cost of ‘joint auditing’ for businesses.
The conference also discusses the government-commissioned independent Brydon Review of auditing standards which will examine the role of and appropriate standards for auditors.
The terms of reference for the review are expected to be published in early 2019.
With the independent review into the purpose and role of the FRC proposing its replacement with a new strengthened watchdog, this conference will also be an opportunity to assess the future of safeguarding the UK’s business environment and regulatory accountability to Government, as well as the future powers needed for effective regulatory action - and the impact on businesses and shareholders.
Planned sessions will also examine the FRC’s current work, as it consults on reforms to its UK Stewardship Code, looking at the standards companies should adhere to, and making clear the overall expectations and responsibilities of those in the investment chain.
We also expect discussion on transparency and enforcement, assessing changes to reporting duties and the implications and penalties for non-compliant companies, as well as the impact more widely on business costs and competitiveness.
Further discussion is expected on reforms to corporate governance in the context of the Government’s corporate governance reforms, as well as measures affecting private companies following the launch of the Wates Corporate Governance Principles.
The agenda also looks at latest thinking on the position of under-represented groups at board level and throughout companies following the BEIS Select Committee report on closing the gender pay gap, next steps for developing a diverse talent pipeline, and the implementation of measures such as flexible working and unconscious bias training.