Ward heralds accountability in the digital age

Speaking at the institute’s annual conference at London’s QEII centre, Ward highlighted three specific areas where accountancy firms would be well placed to exploit the e-commerce revolution – forensic accounting; fraud prevention; and advice on control of systems.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers partner took the opportunity to reiterate the need for company websites to state which parts related to audited information to ensure clarity for users. He also voiced his support for XBRL, or extensible business reporting mark-up language, a new web language for business reporting being pioneered by accountants in partnership with business.

The conference – called ‘e-business: The new technological revolution’ – offered a range of talks and seminars covering the theme.

Highlights included an address by Labour MP Nick Palmer, secretary to the all-party parliamentary internet group.

He called for businesses to inject realism into their e-commerce plans, asking for those setting up websites to think ahead.

It wasn’t good enough for a company to design a website when it didn’t have provision in place to provide consumers with goods and services, he said.

Other speakers included Dennis Turner, chief economist of HSBC.

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