Students’ submission to the FRC’s future of corporate reporting initiative

A team of accounting students from Alliance MBS have produced a submission to the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Future of Corporate Reporting Project.

The FRC’s initiative was set up to challenge existing thinking about corporate reporting and consider how companies should better meet the information needs of shareholders and other stakeholders and called for responses to its discussion paper published in October 2020 titled: A matter of principles: The Future of Corporate Reporting. The paper was designed to open up a discussion by proposing a bold new principles-based framework for corporate reporting.

The collective submission was produced by more than 20 undergraduate and postgraduate students: Charlotte Edwards, Yue Jiang, Ming Yang, Yuanqing Liang, Chulei Zhou, Manting Li, Silin Chen, Baoyue Cao, Sining Liu, Shujing Lu, Ting-Chun Lin, Yanhui Tan, Jingwen Jiao, Liya Chen, Wenjing Wang, Yan Jiang, Kar Yan Loo, Yuanqing Liang, Yixuan Liu, Leonid Sokolovskyy, Fatema-Tuz Zohra, Saskia Salmana, and Sue Parvis. AMBS academics Dr Sofia Yasmin, Dr Omiros Georgiou and Professor Chris Humphrey were instrumental in organising the initiative and guided the students through the submission process.

Contribution

The team said it was absolutely critical to empower the younger generation to drive change and reform in this area and to advocate a better form of socially responsible capitalism. They said the future of corporate reporting needed to be public-interest driven and argued that fundamental changes within the broader institutional ecosystem that underpins the project of corporate reporting needed to take place.

The team also identified challenges they perceive in pursuing this agenda and suggestions for how the FRC can make their new proposed reporting framework more successful. As the submission said: “As a younger generation, we fully support the FRC’s intentions to put the public interest at the heart of corporate reporting. We think that this initiative will have significant and positive social implications.”

The team also drew on evidence from the 2019 Brydon Independent review into the quality and effectiveness of audit. AMBS’ Professor Chris Humphrey was the only academic to sit on the advisory panel of that review.

What is clear from the students is that they want to be sure their future work in the accounting profession has purpose and meaning. Charlotte Edwards, a final year BSc Management student specialising in accounting and finance at AMBS, said: “What is audit for, what is it we’re really trying to do, and are we trying to make the world a better place? Are we acting in the public interest, and are we supposed to be making these reports as unbiased and clear for the public as we can? I think it’s hard when there’s not always a clear pathway for those ideas to be expressed and respected.”

News of the team’s submission has featured in Accountancy Age and the full submission from Alliance MBS students is available to read here.

Watch and hear from our students in their own words as they explain how they got involved with the project, why they think it’s so important, and what the key messages in their submission were.

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