Good quality non-executive directors are essential to good corporate governance. They bring a wealth of experience to the boardroom, and together with their fellow board members they are responsible for the company's annual report and accounts. However, very few are trained accountants. This volume explains the key elements of a listed company's annual report and accounts. Part I explains the difference between profit and cash flows, the accounting profession, the international harmonisation of accounting rules, the origins of the rules governing the preparation of accounts, the regulation of financial reporting and the overarching principles behind accounting rules. Part II discusses issues relevant to listed companies: mergers and acquisitions; earnings per share; realised and distributable profits; financial instruments; and other key topics. An appendix sets out 50 questions, linked to the chapters, which non-executive directors might like to ask at meetings of the board and audit committee.
Peter Holgate is senior accounting technical partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. As such, he heads the largest accounting consulting team in the UK. A member of the ASB's Urgent Issues Task Force, he is also chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales' Centre for Business Performance management board and a member of the advisory board of the ICAEW's Financial Reporting Faculty. Elizabeth Buckley is a consultant to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She has worked in the accounting technical departments of two of the 'Big 4' accounting firms, and at the ICAEW. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and of the Joint Institutes' working party on distributable profits.
1. Introduction; 2. Accounting in the UK and the effects of international harmonisation; 3. The legal framework for accounting; 4. The accountancy profession and the regulatory framework for accounting and auditing; 5. Substance over form; 6. Communicating accounting information; 7. Current trends in accounting; 8. Individual entity and consolidated financial statements; 9. Presentation of financial statements; 10. Earnings per share; 11. Mergers and acquisitions; 12. Interaction of accounting with tax; 13. Assets; 14. Liabilities; 15. Leases; 16. Pensions; 17. Financial instruments; 18. Share-based payment; 19. Realised and distributable profits; 20. Disclosures in published annual reports.