Reaching Key Financial Reporting Decisions
The regulatory framework for financial reporting, auditing and governance has changed radically in recent years, as a result of problems identified from the Enron scandal and more recently from the drive to implement global standards. In a key regulatory change, a company audit committee is now expected to play a significant role in agreeing the contents of the financial statements and overseeing the activities of the auditors. Finance Directors, Audit Committee Chairs and Audit Engagement Partners are required to discuss and negotiate financial reporting and auditing issues, a significant process leading to the agreement of the published numbers and disclosures, and to the issuing of the auditor's report which accompanies them, but which is entirely unobservable by third parties. Reaching Key Financial Reporting Decisions: How Directors and Auditors Interact is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes examination of this closed process. The authors draw on the results of face to face interviews, and an extensive survey of finance directors, audit committee chairs and audit partners, and present nine company case studies highlighting the process of discussion and negotiation and the methods by which the agreed financial reporting outcome was reached. Detailed analysis of the case studies: Allows those involved in the process to benchmark their behaviours against those of others Enables a comparison between the previous and current regulatory environments to see what has changed, and sheds light on the sorts of behaviours the current regulatory framework encourages Evaluates the effectiveness of the changed regulatory regime, providing evidence relevant to current policy debates concerning the value of audit, IFRS and the relative merit of rules-based versus principles-based accounting standards in relation to professional judgement and compliance The unprecedented access and unique insights offered by this book make it invaluable for audit firm staff and partners, audit committee chairs and company directors involved in agreeing the published financial statements, as well as those who have an interest in the financial statements, but do not have access to the negotiation process. Vivien Beattie is Professor of Accounting and Director of Research at the Business School, University of Glasgow. She is a member of the Accounting Standards Board's Academic Panel, a member of the Accounting Standards Committee at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and was a panel member for Accounting and Finance in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise conducted in the UK. She has published over 100 academic journal articles, research reports, books and professional articles. Her co-authored research book Behind Closed Doors: What Company Audit is Really About was awarded the prestigious Deloitte/American Accounting Association Wildman Medal in 2007. Stella Fearnley BA FCA is Professor in Accounting at the University of Bournemouth Business School. Stella spent 16 years with Price Waterhouse and Grant Thornton before becoming an academic. Her research interests cover audit and financial reporting and she has received over £700,000 funding. She has published over 100 articles in professional and academic journals and national newspapers and is co-author with Vivien Beattie of Behind Closed Doors . Stella was a member of the UK Financial Reporting Council's Professional Oversight Board from 2004 to 2009 and was an elected member of the ICAEW Council from 1992 to 2004. Tony Hines MSc FCA is Head of the Department of Accounting and Finance at Portsmouth Business School. He trained with Coopers and Lybrand and became an academic shortly after qualifying as a chartered accountant. Tony's main research interests are the Financial Reporting Review Panel and the regulation of financial reporting and audit and he has published widely on these issues.
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