Clear and Concise reporting

Over the past few years, through new legislation (the updated Companies Act and the introduction of the Strategic Report), the financial crisis and much more, the reporting landscape has changed.

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With the aim to ensure long-term success for companies, the FRC (Financial Reporting Council), through their Financial Reporting Lab, have turned their focus to the type of information being reported and how it is presented with their Clear and Concise initiative.

The Clear and Concise initiative’s main aim is to ensure that the reports relay relevant information to investors and promote good communication. With this in mind, the recently released ‘Towards Clear & Concise Reporting’ insight report looks at what FTSE 350 companies are doing to promote clarity and conciseness.

The report itself highlights many areas of interest and showcases how several companies are now utilising the new legislation in order to create a streamlined report and instead direct those looking for more in depth content towards their company websites.

Some of the key areas of the report look at the following:

  • Companies are starting to look at the communication channels their audiences use.
  • Looking at the arrangement of content.
    • Tailoring directors biographies.
    • Reporting on actions and not just processes.
    • Reducing detail in the financial review and moving some of this information online.
  • Looking at the materiality of the report.
    • Improving accounting policy disclosures.
    • Removing immaterial notes to the financial statements.
  • Looking at layouts.
    • Signposting.
    • White space.
    • Allowing tables to speak for themselves.

Of course, this is only touching on some of the main areas of the report, which can be found on the FRC’s website, alongside more information on the initiative. Overall the report looks at how companies and their investors are evolving, and looks to ensure high quality future reports.