18 May 2011
Professor Wim A. Van der Stede, CIMA Professor of Accounting and Financial Management, spoke at the CIMA bi-annual Anthony Howitt Lecture, held at The British Museum, London, where he addressed over 130 delegates on corporate governance reporting and the critical roles of regulators, issuers and users at a time when rules in this area are still up for review.
In a time of strong calls for tighter compliance, Professor Van der Stede argued in favour of principles-based disclosures. He said that organizations should have the flexibility to tell the 'story' of their mandate, and ensure that a deeper understanding of their governance practices was communicated. Companies would demonstrate the effectiveness of these practices and how they are shaped for real use rather than mere compliance. He discussed the critical role of disciplined accountability to the functioning of markets which involves an approach to governance reporting that engages, but not blindly trusts, responsible issuers and vigilant users. He noted that this is where regulators should be firm in their requirement for disclosure but restrained in their prescription in order to find the right balance.