ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

ACCA responds to revised Financial Reporting Exposure Drafts (FREDs) 46-48 on the future of financial reporting in the UK and Ireland

ACCA, while supporting the proposals overall, believes they are, to some extent, a missed opportunity to progress further towards international convergence …

United Kingdom 28 May 2012

ACCA wants incentives to encourage more women representation on boards, but not EU-wide rigidly imposed quotas

For the global accountancy body, the fact that at present only 3% of chief executives in the largest European companies are women underlines that companies are not drawing from the full pool of skills that is available However, while some countries have achieved increases by resorting to legal quotas, a one size fits all for Europe cannot work given the specificities of each EU member States A more sustainable approach based on subsidiarity, involving encouragement rather than rigid rules is the better option The UK experience shows for example that improvements in the comply or explain-based corporate governance code has already led to a significant increase in the number of women directors appointed to listed companies John Davies explains: "We support the goal of increasing the number of women on company boards, but this aim must be pursued for the right reasons, namely to enhance the ability of company boards to make sound business decisions on behalf of their stakeholders Given the limited influence that shareholder bodies generally tend to have with company boards, it is appropriate that there be some authoritative encouragement issued to companies to recognise the potential business and governance benefits of appointing more female board members We would agree that, without some measure of this kind, the desired improvements are not likely to materialise However, any new encouragement should avoid imposing rigid requirements, either legal or regulatory, which could have the effect of undermining the ability of boards to assemble a group of people of complementary skills and experience…

Global 22 May 2012