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Narrative reporting areas of focus

The strategic report remains a key area of focus for the FRC, which continues to emphasise the requirement for companies to provide a fair, balanced and comprehensive analysis of the development and performance of the business in the financial year and of its position at the end of the year. 

Whilst improvements have been observed, the FRC continues to identify scope for further improvement and highlights in its Annual Review of Corporate Reporting its most common areas of challenge.  These include lack of connectivity between the strategic report and the wider annual report and failure to address significant matters in the financial review.  

The FRC will continue to challenge disclosure in the non-financial information statement especially where cross references are provided to information elsewhere in the annual report which do not contain the required information.  Additionally it sees scope for improvement in addressing climate-change in non-financial information reporting.

Investors are also calling for improvements in Section 172 reporting.  There are increasing calls for better information on how companies are having regard to their stakeholders and how they have taken their perspectives into account when making key decisions.  Companies are reminded that when cross-references are used from the s172(1) statement to other material in the annual report, these should be accurate and precise, rather than referring to whole sections of the strategic report.  Additionally where s172(1) disclosures are combined with stakeholder engagement disclosures, companies should ensure that all aspects of the required disclosure are still given.  A Financial Reporting Lab report sets out what investors are looking for in this area and how companies can improve their reporting to better meet investor needs.

2021 sees the second year that companies are required to comply with the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations and the FRC is expecting improvements in disclosure this reporting season.  It expects companies to move away from solely meeting minimum statutory disclosure requirements and to consider how to make these disclosures more relevant and understandable to users.  A recent FRC thematic review provides examples of emerging good practice and sets out the FRC's expectations for future reporting. 

Below is a comprehensive collection of resources — organised chronologically — on narrative reporting areas of focus.  Click for direct access to specific narrative reporting resources:

Related Resources

FRC publishes Strategy for 2018/21

27 Mar 2018

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published its three year strategy for 2018/21 and its budget and levy proposals for the 2018/19 financial year.

FRC reminds Boards of companies in the construction and business support services sectors of their reporting obligations

30 Jan 2018

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published reminders to Boards of companies in the construction and business support services sectors of their reporting obligations. Although the FRC guidance is directed at one sector, in the light of the collapse of Carillion, the FRC states it is also relevant to other companies.

FRC publishes Strategy for 2018/21

19 Dec 2017

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published its three year strategy for 2018/21 and its draft budget and levy proposals for the 2018/19 financial year.

FRC to delay finalisation of Strategic Report guidance

04 Dec 2017

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has today announced that it is to delay the publication of its amended Guidance on the Strategic Report (“the Guidance”) until after the government has announced its legislative changes in respect of reporting on section 172.

FRC’s Financial Reporting Lab issues report on risk and viability reporting

28 Nov 2017

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) Financial Reporting Lab (“the Lab”) has published a report on risk and viability reporting. The report seeks to understand the views of companies and investors participating in the project on the key attributes of principal risk and viability reporting, their value and use. The report also provides illustrative examples of the types reporting that investors favour in this area.

Accounting Roundup - Closing Out 2017

27 Nov 2017

Closing out 2017 discusses the significant corporate reporting issues relevant to 31 December 2017 annual reports, covering areas of regulatory focus identified in the FRC’s Annual Review of Corporate Reporting 2016/2017, ESMA’s common enforcement priorities for issuers in the European Union together with developments in reporting standards and areas of investor interest.

Governance in brief — FRC issues advice on annual reports for 2017/18 reporting season

26 Oct 2017

During October the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued its 2016/17 Annual Review of Corporate Reporting and its annual letter to FTSE 350 finance directors and audit committee chairs. This edition of Governance in brief explores the findings in the Corporate Reporting Review (CRR) annual report, the recommendations in the FRC’s year-end advice letter to preparers and the aspects of financial statements and broader corporate reporting that the FRC is looking to companies to focus on in the coming year.

We comment on the FRC's consultation - Draft amendments to Guidance on the Strategic Report - Non-financial reporting

23 Oct 2017

We have published our comment letter on the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC's) consultation on amendments to its Guidance on the Strategic Report.

Deloitte Comment Letter on the FRC's consultation - Draft amendments to Guidance on the Strategic Report - Non-financial reporting

23 Oct 2017

We have published our comment letter on the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC's) consultation on amendments to its Guidance on the Strategic Report.

FRC publishes findings on the quality of corporate reporting in 2016/2017

23 Oct 2017

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published its Annual Review of Corporate Reporting 2016/2017, which provides the FRC's assessment of corporate reporting in the UK based on evidence from a variety of sources, including the work of the FRC's own Corporate Reporting Review (CRR) team.

FRC publishes year-end advice to preparers in advance of the 2017/18 reporting season

11 Oct 2017

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published a letter to Audit Committee Chairs and Finance Directors, in advance of the 2017/18 reporting season, highlighting changes to reporting requirements and aspects of annual reports where the FRC feels that companies can improve.

Annual report insights 2017 — Surveying FTSE reporting

03 Oct 2017

Our latest annual reporting survey, 'Annual report insights 2017' provides insights into narrative and financial reporting trends for UK listed companies, together with ideas to help them improve their annual reports. Hot topics including Brexit disclosures, governance reform and integrated reporting are all addressed.

Governance in brief — FRC encourages broader reporting of company purpose and impact in proposed revisions to the Guidance on the Strategic Report

11 Sep 2017

The FRC has published proposed revisions to its Guidance on the Strategic Report. These revisions encourage companies to report on broader matters that may impact the value and sustainability of business over the longer term and reflect new corporate reporting requirements arising from changes to the Companies Act 2006 which implement the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive.

Need to know — FRC publishes consultation on amendments to its Guidance on the Strategic Report

30 Aug 2017

This edition of Need to Know outlines the FRC's consultation on amendments to its Guidance on the Strategic Report.

FRC proposes amendments to its Guidance on the Strategic Report

15 Aug 2017

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has today published, for consultation, amendments to its ‘Guidance on the Strategic Report’ ("the Guidance").The Guidance remains non-mandatory with a view to encouraging best practice.

FRC publishes a factsheet on the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive

26 Jul 2017

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has today published a factsheet on non-financial reporting that provides an overview of the new regulations implementing the EU Directive on non-financial and diversity information (“EU NFR Directive”).

Government Equalities Office launches gender pay gap website as two new transparency requirements come into force

07 Apr 2017

Two new transparency initiatives with reporting requirements outside the annual report are now in force.

Need to know — Non-Financial Reporting Regulations

15 Feb 2017

The government has enacted 'The Companies, Partnerships and Groups (accounts and Non-Financial Reporting) Regulations 2016' (SI 2016/1245) implementing the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (Directive 2014/95/EU). This newsletter discusses the new Regulations.

LSEG issues guidance for ESG reporting

10 Feb 2017

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), through its Global Sustainable Investment Centre, has issued guidance setting out recommendations for good practice in Environmental, Social and Governance reporting (ESG).

The Bruce Column — Making the financial implications of climate-related risks clear

01 Feb 2017

The recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures marks a shift in the focus of the reporting of climate change and ensuring that companies explain the risks and opportunities that result. Our resident, regular columnist Robert Bruce explains the implications.

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.