Five key challenges facing the FRC

Link: FRC special report

1 ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY – Events like Monday’s launch, attended by 150 key City figures, can only be the start. Executives have been hitting the rubber-chicken circuit, as the FRC presents itself as a partner to business. But it will need to offer something tangible to secure favour. Sir Bryan’s promised review of the Turnbull guidance would go some way to achieving this.

2 SECURE AN EARLY TRIUMPH – No one wants a UK Enron. But for the FRC to be proved successful, it needs to have coped with a crisis, not just averted one. Something highly visible, but manageable, would do the trick.

3 MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS – The FRC unites the ASB, the APB, the Professional Oversight Board for Accountancy, the FRRP and the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board. Most have existed in some guise before. The council has to demonstrate – by speed of inquiry and effectiveness of outcome – that these bodies can operate under one umbrella.

4 CONTROL COSTS WHILE RECRUITING THE RIGHT STAFF – Chief executive Paul Boyle is competing with firms, banks and businesses for the best talent. Boyle needs to sell the value of working for the council – asking him to compete on salary would be like expecting Charlton to outbid Chelsea for footballers. He cannot afford to underpay, but if FRC staff salaries rise too high, he can expect accusations of fat cattery.

5 BE EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONALLY – Sir Bryan acknowledges that one of the most significant aspects of his job is to work effectively with Brussels and Washington. He wants to lead without over-regulating, which would alienate domestic interest groups.

The ultimate flattery – and the benchmark of success – would be to see the FRC model exported abroad.

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