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Annual reports obfuscate performance, say readers

COMPANIES’ ANNUAL REPORTS impede understanding of their performance as they include too many disclosures for different parties, according to Accountancy Age readers.

Of the 60 votes cast, 88% said they need stripping back and get returning to their original purpose, with the remaining 12% feeling the information has to be relevant to a number of different stakeholders.

Speaking at an ICAEW debate on audit quality earlier in November, Robert Talbut, chief investment officer at Royal London Asset Management, criticised the lack of information in annual reports that has resulted from a lack of clarity around which set of users annual reports are aimed at.

Talbut, who also chairs the Association of British Insurers’ investment committee, suggested that the front end of accounts were viewed as “marketing documents” and preparers of accounts had become too focused on compliance.

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