Will the hundred group come out in the open?

Will the hundred group come out in the open?

What will Ashley Almanza do once he becomes chairman of the Hundred Group of Finance Directors?

Gavin Hinks, AccountancyAge

Gavin Hinks, AccountancyAge

He follows a select group who, over the past four to five years, have
gradually brought this influential group out of obscurity.

This is strange because the Hundred Group must be the most qualified group in
the country to talk on business and the economy. At any one time it can wield
some of the brightest minds in business to talk to government and regulators.
Yet despite all this brain power the group has traditionally tried to operate
behind closed doors.

In recent times John Coombes of GlaxoSmithKline was perhaps one of the most
influential people to run the body, but GSK remained his main stage leaving the
Hundred Group to languish slightly in the shadows. After him came Jon Symonds of
AstraZeneca.

Jon was instrumental in setting up the tax research central at Oxford
University and broke cover to speak out on issues such as IFRS. Next came Philip
Broadley of the Prudential. Under him the group’s website came into being,
marking the body’s official public arrival. He was also willing to speak out on
big issues such as audit choice.

What work is there now for Almanza? Despite the group’s adherence to a
‘behind closed doors’ lobbying policy, speaking in public is a powerful tool.
The more the Hundred Group is recognised as an authoritative body in public, the
more power they potentially wield in private.

And there is work to be done. Audit choice remains an issue as does the
government’s approach to corporate tax. There are also further submission to be
made to US watchdogs the SEC and the PCAOB. But having a louder more influential
voice on these topics may bring the Hundred Group even further into the open.

comment@accountancyage.com

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