Eric Anstee, chief executive of the ICAEW, warned that the planned changes – designed to create greater transparency in reporting of strategy and performance – could backfire.
‘The effect of these overly prescriptive proposals, coupled with an onerous verification regime, could lead to a decline in the quality of OFRs,’ Anstee told officials.
At a Moorgate Place forum, the DTI’s accounting adviser Andrew Watchman endured an uncomfortable few hours. Having claimed the OFR could create value, he was forced to hear a litany of reasons why it would not.
Elsewhere, ACCA criticised the proposals for not going far enough. Richard Martin, ACCA’s head of financial reporting, said: ‘They have labelled areas concerning environmental and social impact as “discretionary”, which clearly opens up the possibility that certain companies won’t provide that information.’
Martyn Jones, a partner with Deloitte, called for ‘at least a year’s delay’ for the introduction of the OFR.
The DTI said it was aware of the concerns, but would not make any decisions until it had looked at all responses.
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