Majority of businesses support simpler financial reporting

REMOVING CLUTTER from financial reporting would have no negative impact on its value, according to more than three-quarters (78%) of UK businesses.

A Baker Tilly survey of 291 enterprises showed most are concerned with reducing the reporting burden all round, with almost 60% not in favour of auditors providing additional commentary on accounts.

Among audited companies, 34% favoured removing the requirement, while 38% said the main benefit of audit was support for good governance.

The survey reflects proposed audit legislation changes in Europe, but Baker Tilly head of audit Jane Bleach noted businesses are far more interested in financial reporting.

“Our survey results [show] businesses are aware that an effective audit helps, rather than hinders, the management of a company… We want to ensure that any legislation is not damaging to our clients and UK businesses generally and that is why we have written to Vince Cable’s office with the results of our survey,” she continued.

An overarching concern for the bottom line is apparent, with companies calling for proportionate legislation and warning the benefits of any changes must not be outweighed by cost.

Baker Tilly’s respondents were mainly finance chiefs of UK private companies (76%), of which 77% are required to have an audit under current legislation.

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