Friday, September 9, 2011

“The world has changed – reporting must too”

"The world has changed – reporting must too"

Business and investment leaders today call for a new approach to corporate reporting in a landmark Discussion Paper, called Towards Integrated Reporting – Communicating Value in the 21st Century, published by the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC).
Integrated Reporting will provide more comprehensive and meaningful information about all aspects of an organization's performance and position, presented in a much clearer, more concise and more user friendly format. In particular it will demonstrate the links between an organization's financial performance and the social, environmental and economic context within which it operates.

The development of Integrated Reporting is designed to enhance and consolidate existing reporting practices to move towards a reporting framework that provides the information needed to develop the global economic model to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Integrated Reporting will be clear and comprehensible, providing a meaningful assessment of the long term viability of an organization, meeting the information needs of investors and other stakeholders and supporting the effective allocation of financial, manufactured, human, intellectual, natural and social capital.

Sir Michael Peat, Chairman of the IIRC, says:
"The range of issues – economic, environmental and social – which determine an organization's success has never been broader or more pressing. It is for this reason that we need an approach to reporting that is fit-for-purpose in the 21st century. The world has changed – reporting must too. 

"All matters which are important in assessing an organization's performance and position, past and prospective, need to be reported but not by making annual reports ever longer and more complex – they are too long already. The information needs to be provided clearly and concisely with the connections between financial, environmental and social impacts demonstrated and the clutter removed. This is what Integrated Reporting seeks to achieve."

The discussion paper Towards Integrated Reporting – Communicating Value in the 21st Century presents the rationale for Integrated Reporting, offering initial proposals for the development of an International Integrated Reporting Framework and outlining the next steps towards its creation and adoption. Its purpose is to prompt input from all those with a stake in better reporting, including producers and users of reports.

Professor Mervyn King, Deputy Chairman of the IIRC, says:
"The IIRC's approach is one that will present a globally co-ordinated solution to reporting, avoiding the current problems with reporting requirements in different jurisdictions developing in different directions and at different speeds. Integrated Reporting reduces the compliance burden and enables more effective decision-making for investors."

Sir Michael concludes:
"I hope that corporate reporting stakeholders will feel able to support the development of Integrated Reporting and the work of the IIRC by contributing to this consultation process. The initiative to introduce a global Integrated Reporting framework is ambitious in vision and scope but the prize is considerable."

The Integrated Reporting Discussion Paper and further information can be found at

Monday, September 5, 2011

ACCA qualifications in demand in challenging times

The demand for a professional accountancy qualification has remained high during tough economic times as the results from the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) examinations in June reveal that 196,000 students sat papers, with more than 6,000 taking a major step towards membership of the global body for professional accountants.
Candidates around the world took more than 373,000 papers, with 6,294 students successfully completing their final ACCA examinations. A further 2,978 students completed the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) exams.
At the Fundamentals level, pass rates were particularly pleasing for the tax and law papers.Students continue to find papers F5 Performance Management, F7  Financial Reporting and F8Audit and Assurance challenging. At the Professional level the pass rate remains strong in paper P1, Governance, Risk and Ethics which tests students' professional judgement. This is the first session to place a greater emphasis on risk assessment and risk management within the exam.
The results for optional papers P4, Advanced Financial Management, P5, Advanced Performance Management and P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance were disappointing.  Generally those students failing were not able to apply their technical knowledge to real-life practical scenarios. ACCA is working on support packages becoming available for students and tutors in the optional papers.
Arif Masud Mirza, Head of ACCA Pakistan, said:
“We congratulate those who have succeeded in their exams – and we are delighted to see that more than 6,000 have completed their examinations, having been able to demonstrate the financial knowledge and professional skills which are needed by organisations in challenging economic conditions. We look forward to welcoming them to ACCA membership on completion of their practical experience requirements. We look forward to examining our new suite of awards, Foundations in Accountancy which replaces the existing CAT qualification from December 2011.  Foundations in Accountancy offers students a choice of awards at different levels and the availability of more computer-based exams than are currently available. This is the first stage of the innovative e-assessment programme being developed by ACCA which will lead to all its examinations, across all levels, being offered online. 

“In addition to offering greater flexibility, our new e-assessment model will enable us to test students’ knowledge and skills in a way which more accurately reflects real-life workplace scenarios and activities and which meet employers’ needs, creating the e-professional.”
The first papers will transition to the new system in 2012 with all papers being phased over the next few years.

June 2011 session ACCA Qualification pass rates:
Paper F1, Accountant in Business, 70%*
Paper F2, Management Accounting, 57%*
Paper F3, Financial Accounting, 55%*
Paper F4, Corporate and Business Law, 55%
Paper F5, Performance Management, 37%
Paper F6, Taxation, 51%
Paper F7, Financial Reporting, 38%
Paper F8, Audit and Assurance, 40%
Paper F9, Financial Management, 38%
Paper P1, Governance, Risk and Ethics, 52%
Paper P2, Corporate Reporting, 50%
Paper P3, Business Analysis, 47%
Paper P4, Advanced Financial Management, 30%
Paper P5, Advanced Performance Management, 35%
Paper P6, Advanced Taxation, 45%
Paper P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance, 31%