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There are a great many challenges facing those organisations which produce financial reports, and increasing expectations that information will be presented in an integrated way. This should be balanced against the needs of the users of those reports
—Neil Stevenson, Executive Director – Brand, ACCA

The challenges and opportunities for organisations which use narrative disclosures to meet the growing needs and demands of users of annual reports were discussed at a forum organised by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in partnership with the Shanghai Stock Exchange in Shanghai on 17 June.

The Accountancy Futures Forum, entitled Narrative Disclosures: Business Stories Responsibly told, looked at how the use of narrative disclosures, such as management commentaries, operating and financial reviews and chairman’s statements had developed, how the needs of preparers of reports needed to be balanced against those who use such reports, along with a discussion on what investors want from reports.

The event saw nearly 200 attendees including regulators, academicians, senior executives from multinational corporations, state-owned enterprises and listed companies, who heard presentations from Zhou Qinye, Executive Vice President of Shanghai Stock Exchange and Neil Stevenson, ACCA Executive Director – Brand. Panel speakers included Xie Rong, President of the Shanghai National Accounting Institute, Lin Yongfeng, Vice Director of the Company Management department of Shanghai Stock Exchange, Yang Zheng, General Manager of Finance Department of China Life Insurance, Zhao Jinhou, Chief Analyst of Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Research and Caroline Yang, Audit Technical Partner of Deloitte.

Neil Stevenson, ACCA Executive Director – Brand, said: 'There are a great many challenges facing those organisations which produce financial reports, and increasing expectations that information will be presented in an integrated way. This should be balanced against the needs of the users of those reports.  ACCA and the Shanghai Stock Exchange have worked closely together, looking at the issues in China and we discussed at our event ways in which organisations can enhance the relevance of their reports to investors. 

'We have provided delegates with an opportunity to hear from leading experts on what investors want to see in reports. We are sure that the collaboration between ACCA and Shanghai Stock Exchange will help us to be at the forefront of addressing issues important to the future of the profession.'