Financial Reporting Lab celebrates first decade and looks to future
The UK Financial Reporting Council’s Financial Reporting Lab is celebrating its tenth birthday, and ICAEW has marked the occasion with an interview with its Director, Phil Fitz-Gerald.
He emphasises the Lab’s focus on a market view of good reporting rather than a regulatory one, aiming to bring companies and investors together. “The reports we produce are very practical. They don’t say this is how you comply with the rules. They say this is how you can improve communication with your investors, and they include practical, real-life examples of how companies have done that. That was the concept when the Lab first started, and it remains the objective to this day,” he says.
Looking ahead, one area that is growing in importance is environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, particularly on climate and, for example, the specific metrics needed to reach long-term targets. “The most popular request is for us to do further work around ESG reporting,” says Fitz-Gerald, and indeed the Lab is currently seeking participants in a new project on how companies produce ESG data.
He notes the importance of technology and digitisation in the Lab’s agenda. “We’re seeing the first electronic reporting for listed companies this year,” he says. “The Lab has been really helpful in setting out how companies and users might best benefit from technology when reporting.” As another area for future exploration, he observes that there are various ways in which technology can potentially help a company take its core information and deliver it in a way which is more accessible.
Congratulations on a fruitful first ten years, and we look forward to many more!
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