PracticeAuditOverview profile: Ed Smith, Accounting for People taskforce

Overview profile: Ed Smith, Accounting for People taskforce

Ed Smith raises a question, which the management of most companies needs to consider. That is, just how valuable are your staff?

A pivotal member of the government-appointed Accounting for People taskforce, Smith, together with taskforce chair Denise Kingsmill, also deputy chairman of the Competition Commission, is due to release the findings next month.

Set up earlier this year, the group was tasked to look at ways in which organisations can measure the quality and effectiveness of their human capital management. The move is in response to growing pressure from investors and stakeholders to understand more about a company’s future performance by looking at employment trends.

The issue is not one of negative cost, but rather the potential that their staff hold as a positive business asset. For this to happen, employees and investors would need to be made aware of the effect staff – or human capital management, as it’s known to the Accounting for People taskforce – could have on profitability.

And the most efficient way deemed to get this to the top of the boardroom agenda has been to enlist those people who can raise the necessary interest.

The Accounting for People taskforce includes professionals from a variety of backgrounds, such as academia, business, accountancy practices and consultancies.

The findings will be fed into the company law review and work is being carried out on an updated operating and financial review, a narra-tive report outlining ‘material’ non-financial data.

Leadership with experience and quality has been essential, and Smith fits the bill. He is responsible for strategy, technology, innovation, people and knowledge at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He also sits on the board.

As the taskforce’s highest-profile accountant, Smith’s interest in the subject has been nutured throughout his more than 25 years at PwC. He has been involved in several other similar projects.

During a balance project with the National Work-Life Forum in 2000, Smith said: ‘Any organisation whose business plan fails to incorporate work-life strategies will need to re-think their future carefully if they are to compete successfully in tomorrow’s changing world.’

He is also acutely aware of the need to retain women as well. At a Busygirl Business Technology event, Smith said: ‘Organisational competitiveness and innovation are accelerated through diverse leadership and decision making. The business case for attracting, retaining and advancing talented women is fundamental to future competitiveness – great companies are run by great teams.’

Along with his dedication to ensuring the smooth and effective running of strategy and technology at PwC, Smith still takes the time to secure overall funding from his fellow partners for the annual PwC pantomine.

The charity event raises funds and broadcasts the annual pantomime into children’s hospitals and other charity organisations. This year they put on Beauty and the Beast at the London Peacock Theatre and again Smith donned costume and make-up.

Email Michelle_Perry@vnu.co.uk.

Related Articles

Is predictive analytics the end of the annual audit?

Audit Is predictive analytics the end of the annual audit?

14h Martin Herron, MHA MacIntyre Hudson
Auditors ‘in the dock’ over Carillion as report calls for Big Four break-up

Audit Auditors ‘in the dock’ over Carillion as report calls for Big Four break-up

6d Emma Smith, Managing Editor
PCAOB sanctions former Deloitte Turkey CEOs over altered documents

Audit PCAOB sanctions former Deloitte Turkey CEOs over altered documents

2w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
KPMG South Africa to review past audit work amid fresh scandal

Audit KPMG South Africa to review past audit work amid fresh scandal

1m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
FRC introduces £10m sanctions for Big Four firms

Audit FRC introduces £10m sanctions for Big Four firms

1m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Ukraine’s PrivatBank files $3bn claim against PwC

Audit Ukraine’s PrivatBank files $3bn claim against PwC

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Grant Thornton to exit FTSE 350 audit market, citing Big Four dominance

Audit Grant Thornton to exit FTSE 350 audit market, citing Big Four dominance

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Big Four dominate FTSE 250 audit market in Q1 rankings

Audit Big Four dominate FTSE 250 audit market in Q1 rankings

3m Alia Shoaib, Reporter