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Accounting & Reporting International

Introducing Accounting & Reporting International

Welcome to Accounting & Reporting International – the global newsletter that will be published every two weeks with a blend of news, analysis, research, interviews, roundtable discussions and comment.

We view the accounting profession as playing a vital role in the market economy whether this involves:

  • Finance directors, CFOs and senior accounting professionals in multinational corporations (MNCs)
  • Audit partners who perform the external auditing function
  • Senior partners, managing partners, technical partners – and heads of consulting, taxation, corporate finance and other business lines in big firms
  • Marketing and business development executives in big accounting firms
  • Standards-setters, whether these be international or national
  • National professional bodies, and
  • Regulators such as the European Commission, the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its equivalents around the world.

We believe in stakeholder capitalism, rather than the "grab-all" objective of shareholder value. Accordingly, we will be paying particular attention to the annual reports of MNCs and the quality of their public reporting in matters such as:

  • Accounting policies
  • Alternative performance measures
  • Corporate strategy and culture – and what these imply for audit risk
  • Sustainability reporting – including issues such as climate change, human rights and corruption, and
  • The occasional audit opinion that deviates from standard templates.

Having said all this, our coverage will inevitably also focus on the many accounting scandals that have damaged the reputation of the profession and the brand valuations of firms across the world in recent years. Whether it be KPMG's notorious activities in the South African "state capture" affair, EY's role in Wirecard (Germany's worst corporate fraud since the Second World War), the PWC-Colonial Bank affair in Alabama, the alleged Deloitte-Autonomy fraud in the UK – or another truly disgraceful scandal involving a Big Four network and several of the world's leading international banks, the profession has much to do to put its house in order.

Partners in network firms who claim they have no involvement or knowledge of scandals elsewhere in their "firms" have their heads in the sand. They have been taking serious risks with their reputations, income and personal wealth for decades by not keeping up to date with what is happening in their networks. It should not be forgotten that it was the serious failings of its Houston office that destroyed the otherwise well-regarded Arthur Andersen.

In another example of how an accounting scandal in one part of the world can have a global impact, the board of a major multinational financial institution with operations across the world is so concerned about the reputation risk associated with its current Big Four auditor that it will consider moving to another auditor at its next meeting in the New Year. Yes, the client is worried about the damage the auditor's behaviour poses to the client!

Accounting, and international accounting in particular is nothing if not exciting – and this perhaps is why I have never lost interest in it since becoming a chartered accountant in 1972 and then writing a book called in Accounting in Europe, published in 1975.

I came up with the idea for my first accounting newsletter back in 1976 when I was already an over-worked fulltime financial journalist at the Financial Times. That newsletter would occupy my weekends, early mornings and late evenings for many years into the future.

The second accounting newsletter followed in 1984 shortly after the establishment of Lafferty Group and was an even bigger success than the first.

I am confident that Accounting & Reporting International will set a new milestone in accounting journalism and become the premier source of international intelligence and research for professional accountants and those working in senior accounting roles in the world's largest companies. I invite you to become a subscriber – and assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Founder Membership

A year's subscription to Accounting & Reporting International is available at the special founder price of $1,295 – a saving of $700 on the regular fee. Just complete the order form or send me an email or a text message and we will set up your subscription.

I look forward to welcoming you to Accounting & Reporting International.

Michael Lafferty, FCA

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