UK accountants could ‘audit’ staff

Link: Mixed results for Big Four in corporate responsibility index

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.

Accounting for People was set up by trade secretary Patricia Hewitt in January, and is due to release a consultation document next month.

Ed Smith, partner and UK board member at PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the accountants on the task force, will be leading the way for the industry.

Denise Kingsmill, deputy chairman of the competition commission, said: ‘This is an undermanaged area. The aim is to find indicators that demonstrate organisations really are treating people as their greatest asset and how they manage it. This will lead to a revolutionary way of reporting in business.’

But Kingsmill offered assurances that they were not ‘looking to put people on the balance sheet’, though she didn’t rule out the possibility for the future.

Findings from the consultation will be fed into the company law review and work being carried out on an updated Operating and Financial Review, a narrative report outlining ‘material’ non-financial data.

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