Good regulation is an essential ingredient of a strong, vibrant economy. But poor regulation can result in wasted time or money and lead to unintended consequences.
Whether we like it or not, regulation affects us all, so it is in everybody’s interests that the UK’s regulatory regime is as good as it can be. There is room for improvement. ICAEW members have valuable insights on this subject – and could help make a difference.
However, engaging with the process of developing regulation can seem like a daunting, possibly hopeless, task. Even understanding how the regime is meant to work can be challenging. But we hope that our Better Regulation initiative will help members to help us improve the UK’s regulatory environment for the benefit of the whole country.
More about the initiative
ICAEW has long worked with the government and regulators to improve selected areas of regulation that have an impact on our membership, for example by responding to consultations on regulatory change. We often agree with the policy objectives of regulation, but we frequently find shortcomings on the way. This leads us to question whether the regulatory framework is operating as well as it should.
Through this new initiative, we will be drawing on our experience and seeking new insights from our members (and others) to assess whether the UK’s regulatory regime is good enough and, if not, how it might be improved. We will then apply the findings in our work with the government and others who share our wish for the UK’s regime to be as good as it can be.
We have published a briefing outlining how the UK’s regulatory regime works (or is meant to work) to demystify what might otherwise seem to be a formidable subject.
We will be seeking the views of members in business and practice about the regulation that has an impact on them – what works well or not so well, the nature of any concerns and how they might be addressed through the current regulatory framework, starting with feedback from members of ICAEW’s Small and Micro Business Community.
“I can understand why some people feel that trying to improve the UK’s regulatory regime is a hopeless task,” says Charles Worth, Head of Business Law at ICAEW. “Edward VI called for simplification of laws more than 500 years ago and no-one would say things have got simpler since. But it is too important for us not to try.”
ICAEW is uniquely placed to help, Worth explains, as its members deal with a variety of regulations every day as advisers to millions of businesses – as well as working in businesses subject to financial and other regulations themselves.
ICAEW is also a regulator of its members and subject to regulation by several oversight regulators. “I do hope that members will actively engage with this initiative as it unfolds. Improving the UK’s regulatory regime is a challenging cause, but not a hopeless one.”
The initiative is supported by ICAEW’s Business Law Committee and other volunteer groups. Mike Metcalf, Chair of the Business Law Committee, says: “It matters that regulation should be effective and fair: effective for the individuals, businesses or investors whose interests it sets out to protect; fair for the businesses on the other side that need to be able to understand and comply with it. ICAEW is seeking to understand, beyond the easy headlines, how and why it falls short, with a view to what might be done about that.”
ICAEW cannot change the UK’s regime by itself. We will need to work with others and intend to use our established networks and build new ones to do so.
How you can get involved
If you are interested in this subject and would like to help with this initiative, there will be plenty of opportunities. Please visit the Better Regulation project hub for more information on how to get involved.
Better Regulation project
The Better Regulation project aims to help ICAEW and its members understand how the UK’s regulatory regime might be improved and to use our insights to call for change.
Discover more from ICAEW Insights
Insights showcases news, opinion, analysis, interviews and features on the profession with a focus on the key issues affecting accountancy and the world of business.
Hear a panel of guests dissect the latest headlines and provide expert analysis on the top stories from across the world of business, finance and accountancy.Find out more
News in brief
Read ICAEW's daily summary of accountancy news from across the mainstream media and broader financing sector.See more
Stay up to date
You can receive email update from ICAEW insights either daily, weekly or monthly, subscribe to whichever works for you.Sign up