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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.

IFBM 2020: Financial Reporting Systems

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.


Due to current social distancing measures, this year’s conference will take place online. We will host one lecture a day at lunchtime between Monday 14 and Thursday 17 December (see further details below). 

The event is free of charge but delegates must register to attend. To register your interest, please contact Gillian Knight


Monday 14 December
The financial reporting system: what is it?
Speaker: Michael Power, London School of Economics
A practitioner view: Sir Jonathan Thompson, FRC

Tuesday 15 December

Preparers and the financial reporting system
13.05   Speaker: Sarah McVay, Foster School of Business, University of Washington
13.40   A practitioner view: Julia Wilson, 3i

Wednesday 16 December
The external auditor and the financial reporting system
Speaker: Christopher Humphrey, University of Manchester
A practitioner view: TBC 

Thursday 17 December
Users and the financial reporting system
Speaker: Beatriz García Osma, University Carlos III de Madrid
A practitioner view: TBC

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?

The art of conversation

The 2020 PD Leake lecture, given by Dr Miguel Minutti-Meza, Miami Herbert Business School, with a response from Allister Wilson, Assurance Partner at EY.

Non financial reporting ensuring a sustainable global recovery

There is a pressing need to expedite the sustainable rebuilding of economies the world over, including in Europe. The COVID-19 pandemic has battered human, social and economic capital across the globe. In responding to the virus and charting a post-coronavirus recovery path, we cannot lose sight of the wider unfolding picture of climate emergency, massive biodiversity loss and increasing inequality.

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.