AIM-listed companies need to lift financial reporting standards

AIM-listed businesses still have some way to go before they catch up with
their established FTSE-listed counterparts when it comes to the quality of their
financial reporting, a study of company accounts has found.

The Financial Reporting Review Panel (FRRP) has found there is room for
improvement in the general quality of reporting by some smaller listed and
AIM-quoted companies in its annual report released yesterday.

The panel reviewed 308 sets of accounts during the past year with 146
companies approached by the panel for further information and three shamed into
restating reported figures.

The board said it invested a lot of time asking companies to resolve
between narrative information in the front end of annual reports and the
audited accounts in the back end.

“This is likely to remain a key area of interest for the panel,” the FRRP
said in a statement.

“We will focus on opportunities for clear linkages between the narrative

and accounts; principal risks and uncertainties for example, but also
description of
the business model which drives the policies and other solutions adopted in the

financial statements.”

Bill Knight, chairman of the FRRP, said emphasis on narrative reporting
reflects changes in the law and “an increasing call for reports and accounts to
tell a coherent story, with an eye to the future as well as the past”.

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