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Information for Better Markets

Advancing thinking and debate

What information should companies disclose? How should they measure their profits and their capital? How should their reporting be regulated? As the laws, regulations and standards governing financial reporting become ever more complex, the ICAEW Financial Reporting Faculty aims to helps members keep up to date and to understand the implications of new requirements. The faculty also seeks to inform and influence regulators and standard-setters on financial reporting questions. The faculty’s work on these public policy issues is informed by its Information for Better Markets thought leadership programme.

What it's all about

Our Information for Better Markets work subjects key issues in financial reporting to careful and impartial analysis. Better understanding of these issues will help achieve what the preparers and users of financial reporting need – practical solutions to complex problems. In pursuit of this objective, the Information for Better Markets initiative tackles three broad themes in financial reporting:

  • disclosure;
  • measurement; and
  • regulation.

We write and publish reports and commission research by leading academics from around the world.

We host two annual events, the P. D. Leake Lecture and the Information for Better Markets Conference at which we present the outcome of this research and any reports written by the ICAEW. Papers based on these events are published in the annual International Accounting Policy Forum special issue of Accounting and Business Research, a leading academic journal. Both the research and the events at which it is presented are financed by ICAEW’s charitable trusts.

What we're thinking about

IFBM 2020: The financial reporting system: seeing the bigger picture

As efforts are made to address problems with financial reporting, knowledge of how the wider financial reporting system operates, and how its players interact, is essential to understanding the real drivers of financial reporting quality. The 2020 Information for Better Markets conference will be an opportunity to explore this topic and examine financial reporting quality in the context of financial reporting systems. We ask what a good financial reporting system looks like and examine the different ways in which the term ‘system’ can be interpreted. We also explore how the key players – including preparers, directors, audit committees, auditors, investors, standard-setters and regulators – interact, and how these interactions affect financial reporting quality. Drawing on recent debates and developments, each session will also consider how financial reporting systems might need to adapt and evolve in the future.

The conference

will take place at Chartered Accountant’s Hall in London on 14 and 15 December 2020. The event is free of charge but delegates must register to attend.

To register your interest, please contact Gillian.knight@icaew.com

What we've done

Our most recent report is Growth, development and accounting: seeing the bigger picture.

Our most recent Information for Better Markets event was the 2018 IFBM conference that took place in December. The theme of the conference was ‘Financial Scandals: past, present and future Recordings of the conference sessions will be available at icaew.com/ifbm2018

All our reports in the Information for Better Markets series and webcasts of the most recent lectures and conferences are available online:


What's new?

Smaller listed and AIM quoted companies

This guide, written in association with the Financial Reporting Council, offers advice for audit committees and boards of smaller quoted companies on evaluating the adequacy of a company’s financial reporting function and process.

Advancing private company accounting research

ICAEW’s Information For Better Markets (IFBM) thought leadership programme will take a leading role in advancing private company accounting research. Our intention is to raise the profile of private company research and challenge the predominance of research into the minority of companies globally that are publicly listed.

Evidence-based policy making

The 2017 PD Leake lecture was given by Professor Christian Leuz, Chicago Booth Business School. Melanie McLaren of the Financial Reporting Council gave a practitioner response.

What's next for corporate reporting: time to decide?

What does the future of corporate reporting look like, what are the opportunities and challenges and where are the barriers to change? This report captures the views of key stakeholders on the topic, puts forward principal policy options and invites further debate.

IFBM Conference 2016 webcasts

Access webcasts of presentations from the Information for Better Markets Conference, December 2016, on the theme of ‘Private company financial reporting’.

Long-term investment and accounting

This report looks at the evidence on whether financial reporting encourages short-termism and asks whether it would be possible for financial reporting to provide better information on long-term performance.

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