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The Cadbury Report

The Corporate Governance Committee was set up in May 1991 by the Financial Reporting Council, the Stock Exchange and the accountancy profession in response to continuing concern about standards of financial reporting and accountability.

What's on this page?

  • The report
  • Useful links
  • Online articles
  • Books and articles from the Library

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Featured article

Board composition, corporate performance, and the Cadbury Committee recommendation
The authors investigate the changes in board membership and corporate performance for UK firms from 1989 to 1996, a period contemporary with the Cadbury Report which recommended that public firms have at least three outside directors.

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Featured book

The Cadbury committee: a history
Spira, L.F. (Oxford University Press, 2013)
Explores the origins of the Committee, provides insights into the way in which it worked, and documents the reaction to the publication of the Committee's report.

To borrow this book please contact the Library or see our guide to book loans.

The report

The financial aspects of corporate governance 
The final report of the Committee on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance as published in December 1992.

The committee was chaired by Sir Adrian Cadbury and had a remit to review those aspects of corporate governance relating to financial reporting and accountability. The final report 'The financial aspects of corporate governance' (usually known as the Cadbury Report) was published in December 1992 and contained a number of recommendations to raise standards in corporate governance.

Useful links

The Cadbury Archive 
The Cadbury Archive at Cambridge Judge Business School is a collection of material from Sir Adrian Cadbury's time as chairman of the Committee on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance. The archive includes agendas, minutes and research relating to the committee's activities with a search tool to locate material of interest.

When is comply or explain the right approach? 
A December 2013 ICAEW report on promoting good corporate governance and the role of comply or explain as a means to that end. The Cadbury Code is widely seen as the first comply-or-explain governance code. ICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza has published a blog post to highlight the launch of this report, 'Is 'comply or explain' fit for purpose?'.

Online articles

The ICAEW Library & Information Service provides access to a range of articles in full text from leading business, finance and management journals. This resource is available to ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

You will need to be logged-in to the website to access the full range of articles available online.


The Library provides ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users with full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers.

You will need to be logged-in to the website to read the eBooks.

Corporate governance: A practical guide to the legal frameworks and international codes of practice
Calder, Alan (Kogan Page, 2008)
‘In the 21st century, corporate governance has become critical for all medium and large organizations. Those without a governance strategy face significant risks; those with one perform measurably better. But what is corporate governance, and what do directors of companies – both quoted and unquoted – need to know? This book aims to provide a clear description for managers and executives that will enable them to identify the practical steps necessary to meet today's corporate governance requirements.’

Articles and books in the Library collection

Selected articles and books

The Cadbury committee: a history 
Spira, L.F. (Oxford University Press, 2013) 
This book explores the origins of the Committee, provides insights into the way in which it worked, and documents the reaction to the publication of the Committee's report.

Fairy-tale fallout 
Practical Audit and Accounting, April 2012. pp.64-66. 
Discusses the impact that the sudden collapse of Polly Peck has had across the auditing landscape. It led to pressure to tighten regulation to restore investor confidence. The resulting Cadbury Report recommended separating the roles of chairman and chief executive; and using non-executive directors to form an audit committee to ensure auditor independence and take charge of the remuneration committee. The case is now back in the news as the chief executive of the company is back in the UK after living for many years as a fugitive from British justice, accused of false accounting and of extracting a large amount of funds prior to the company's collapse in 1993.

Comply or explain: 20th anniversary of the UK Corporate Governance Code 
(FRC, 2012)
 A collection of essays published by the Financial Reporting Council to mark the 20th anniversary of the Cadbury Code, which introduced the UK's 'comply or explain' approach to best practice in the organisation of corporate boardrooms and their relations with shareholders. The collection draws on the experience of a wide range of individuals both here and overseas, reflecting the global impact of 'comply or explain' and its contribution to the UK's role as an international financial centre.

Find more articles and books

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You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

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