Governance, risk and performance conference 2014: voting results and resources

"ACCA is committed to taking a lead on researching corporate governance, including risk management, and culture. We want to encourage better understanding by boards, executives and others of how governance can help create value and of how culture affects decision processes. The conference brought these themes together."

Paul Moxey, Head of Corporate Governance and Risk Management at ACCA.


In March 2014, ACCA's governance, risk and performance conference aimed to inform attendees about, and seek their input on, ACCA’s work in four areas:

  • creating value through governance, 
  • risk reporting, 
  • corporate culture and behaviour, and 
  • accounting for uncertainty (confidence accounting).

Creating value through governance - towards a new accountability

In February 2014, ACCA published a detailed consultation on governance and value creation, introducing new tools to enhance risk management and companies’ performance. Comments were open online until 31 August 2014.

See Related Reports for a link to further information.

Reporting on risk

There is a growing understanding that risk reporting needs to change; better risk reporting is integral to better governance. ACCA's 2014 research project, based on interviews and case studies, seeks to identify how both the quality and value of risk reporting can be improved. How can an organisation strike the right balance to include sensitive information without giving away competitor advantage?

At the conference, 67% of those answering agreed or strongly agreed that commercial sensitivities are used as a barrier to risk reporting, it acts as a fantastic smokescreen to hide all sorts of information that could give away competitive advantage. 80% also thought the current trend towards voluminous reporting on risk, especially at banks, is obscuring the key risks. As panellist Eric Tracey puts it, an integrated approach to risk reporting is the key to helping investors make the right decisions. Frank Curtiss, also panellist to the GRP conference, agrees and affirms that investor primacy and a clear narrative in the voice of management are key elements in risk reporting. 

To the question ‘what should a risk report include?’, financial analyst Ewald Müller replies that “[his] ideal risk report would contain more pictures than words, and should explain what matters to the company, what the company did right, what it did wrong, and what it changed”.

See Related Reports for a link to further information.

Culture and channelling corporate behaviour

In 2014 ACCA and the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) completed an ambitious research project investigating perceptions of corporate culture and its links to dysfunctional behaviour in organisations. A series of four reports has been produced to assist boards in preparing to assess their corporate culture and in understanding how it can influence either functional or dysfunctional behaviour.

See Related Reports for a link to further information.

Accounting for uncertainty (confidence accounting)

In a company balance sheet, many of its assets and liabilities cannot be known to the level of accuracy implied by what are typically four significant digits used to state amounts. What can be done to help audit committees fulfil their obligations to consider whether financial statements are ‘fair, balanced and understandable’? A draft discussion paper was presented.

Voting at the conference

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI) provided cutting-edge voting technology used to assess the audience’s opinion on all the subjects presented at the conference. 

Results are available in PDF below.