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A Queen’s Speech for Brexit

Given that the forthcoming Parliamentary session will usher in one of the most significant governance transformations in modern times, the June 2017 State Opening of Parliament was a strangely subdued affair.  Thanks to its proximity to the Queen’s Birthday Parade the decision was taken to curtail some of the ceremony, with the Queen not donning her usual robes of state, …

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Disclosure and communication

If there was one key rule for effective communication it would be to know your audience. Without that one basic level of understanding whatever you attempt, whatever medium you use, it is unlikely to have the impact that you intended. It was with interest therefore that we noted a forthcoming Financial Reporting Council (FRC) event entitled ‘Better Communication – Seeing …

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Overseeing governance

Who watches the watchmen? It’s a question which comes up in so many different guises and yet it is one which we rarely stop to ponder, unless something goes wrong. And yet one of the fundamental planks of our system of governance is that every official body has some form of review, helping to ensure that it continues to deliver …

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Filing smaller company accounts

Companies house has issued a reminder for small companies to effect that changes to UK company law has removed the option for filing abbreviated accounts for accounting periods starting on or after 1 January 2016.  That doesn’t mean, however, that small and micro-entities have to prepare and submit a full set of accounts; although that option is open to them. …

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Diversity on the back foot

The director-general of the CBI, Carolyn Fairburn, has warned businesses that workplace diversity is in danger of going backwards in the face of competing priorities. Speaking at a recent CBI event in London Carolyn Fairburn called diversity “one of the defining issues of our age.” However she cautioned that in times of great change it can be easy to let …

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Time to act on Corporate Governance

It’s time for directors “to take more seriously their duties to comply with the law and the Code relating to corporate governance.”  That’s the opinion of Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee as a result of its review into corporate governance.  Whilst acknowledging the continuing benefits of the comply or explain code, the committee is concerned both about the …

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Be alert – don’t fall for scams

When is a communication from Companies House not a communication from Companies House?  No it’s not a trick question; just a reflection of a recent communication from Companies House warning businesses to be careful when they receive letters which appear to come from that body. The specific warning relates to letters or emails which purport to come from Companies House, asking …

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Understanding risk

What is risk?  It’s an interesting question and one which is not always simple or straightforward to answer. In many ways risk can be coloured by perception, experience and planning. Is it risky to climb a tree, to invest thousands on the stock market, to set out on a new business venture? What I perceive as risk may seem normal …

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Corporate Governance – 25 years on

In May 1991, recognising that investor confidence in The City was falling, the Financial Reporting Council together with the Stock Exchange and various other bodies established the Committee on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance, subsequently known as the Cadbury Committee.  The Committee’s remit was to examine those aspects of corporate governance which related to financial reporting and accountability with …

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Reflecting diversity

Promoting diversity within the workplace isn’t simply a device for gaining social kudos or a nice to read sentence within the annual report. Rather, diversity and inclusion are now recognised as positively contributing to a range of business benefits including a strengthened boardroom and more customer focused outlook. So much so that in a recent speech the Governor of the …

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