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June 20, 2017

Consensus needed on the role of technology in corporate reporting, ICAEW warns

By aziz rahman

The ICAEW has released a report warning that if no concerted and coordinated efforts by the accountancy profession and technology specialists on enhancing the quality of corporate reporting through technology is achieved, the pace of adoption of technology as a corporate reporting tool will remain slow.

In What’s next for corporate reporting: time to decide?, ICAEW suggested that the profession should be more inclusive of digital and technology specialists in the discussions on corporate reporting in order to find solutions against the risk of having corporate report that are too long and less useful due to increased demands in disclosure.

ICAEW’s Financial Reporting Faculty head  Nigel Sleigh-Johnson said: “Stakeholders are demanding more information from companies, and companies seem willing to provide it. But there seems to be little progress in using technology as a reporting tool, which could solve this communication challenge. Demand for more access to information is likely to continue to grow, so it is important to address these problems as soon as possible.”

There is a risk that the annual report becomes further overloaded with information in order to meet wider stakeholder demands, while making the report less useful for investors for economic decision making purposes, Sleigh-Johnson continued. “Presenting additional information outside of the annual report, in a digital format that is user-friendly and easy to access, may provide the answer to this. However, there needs to be further research into the implications of digitalisation. IT expertise would improve understanding of, for example, the potential in this context of two emerging technologies: data analytics and blockchain technology.”

The full report can found here:

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