Annual Reporting for 2017/18
While changes to the legal and regulatory reporting requirements for the annual report are relatively light this year, primarily requiring listed companies to supplement existing disclosures to meet new requirements rather than making wholesale changes, 2017 has seen the publication of a vast number of new or revised guidance notes, reports and disclosure recommendations of which reporting teams should take account if they wish to reflect "market practice" in their reporting. There is also an opportunity to report in line with the key messages arising from the wider governance reforms, particularly in relation to acknowledging the "stakeholder voice" and concerns around executive pay.
Key issues for consideration
In particular, this year reporting teams will need to consider:
- enhancing existing non-financial information disclosures to reflect new reporting requirements for larger listed companies;
- reporting with a greater emphasis on, and recognition of, stakeholder interests and key sources of long-term value;
- re-shaping risk and viability reporting to reflect the key attributes of good disclosure issued by the FRC's Reporting Lab;
- ensuring that the business model disclosure takes account of other new FRC Reporting Lab project reports and studies;
- reporting against the 2016 version of the UK Corporate Governance Code and associated guidance;
- enhancing existing disclosures on the board's diversity policy to reflect new DTR 7.2 reporting requirements;
- disclosing voluntary data in light of recommendations of the major diversity reviews;
- changes in key investor guidance on remuneration;
- the increased focus on director accountability and the consequences this year of a "significant" vote against any resolution; and
- new regulatory notification requirements when publishing prelims and the Annual Report.
Company Secretary's Checklist
To support main market listed companies in the preparation of their annual reports, AG Governance & Compliance has once again published its annual "Company Secretary's Checklist - The annual report of a listed company".
Drafted from the perspective of a UK incorporated company with a premium listing on the Main Market and with a 31 December financial year end, the Checklist includes all mandatory reporting disclosures, highlights where the requirements have changed since last year and sets out what companies will need to do differently in order to be compliant this reporting season. As in previous years, the Checklist also provides coverage of "best practice" guidance. In particular, the strategic report requirements are accompanied by extracts from the FRC's strategic report and business model guidance notes as well as extracts from the Investment Association's new guidance on long-term reporting. Key elements of the GC100 and Investor Group's guidance on remuneration are summarised and, for ease of reference, located alongside the statutory requirements to which they relate.
The Checklist also provides a step-by-step guide to assist companies with finalising and publishing an annual report as well as preparing for an AGM in 2018.