Investors Financial Reporting Lab

Financial Reporting Lab

Introduction

The FRC is committed to improving the effectiveness of corporate reporting. Companies and investors tell us of significant untapped opportunity to improve reporting so that it offers a clearer understanding of the underlying performance of a company.

The Financial Reporting Lab was launched in 2011 to provide an environment where investors and companies can come together to develop pragmatic solutions to today’s reporting needs:

  • As a learning space, companies can use the Lab to test new reporting formats with investors, and investors can indicate areas where management can add greater value through the information they provide.

  • As a hub to support innovation in reporting, the Lab’s focus on gathering and sharing evidence from the market provides the broader corporate community with feedback from shareholders on the value that new reporting formats bring.

The Lab has worked with over 100 different companies, 84 investment organisations and over 300 retail investors to bring insight and understanding to a number of key areas of disclosure.

Current projects

ESG data production

As explained in the FRC’s ESG statement of intent, one of the challenges around ESG disclosures is that the systems to produce, distribute and consume ESG data are significantly less mature than those for financial information.

In this context, the Lab is inviting companies, service and systems providers, investors and other interested parties to participate in a new project looking at how companies produce ESG data. Contact the Lab at FRCLab@frc.org.uk if you are interested in taking part.

Net Zero disclosures

As part of global efforts to combat climate change, companies are increasingly making net zero commitments. Interest in disclosures on these plans is growing. As explained in the FRC’s ESG statement of intent, reporting is often aspirational and high level, and does not provide users with information about progress and whether the entity’s strategy will deliver the commitment.

In this context, the Lab is starting a project about how information on net zero commitments is reported on by companies and used by investors. Contact the Lab at FRCLab@frc.org.uk if you are interested in taking part.

Structured reporting: driving up quality

Many companies have now published their first annual financial reports in a structured electronic format (ESEF/UKSEF).

The FRC Lab is gathering feedback to understand what went well and what can be improved. We will also be reviewing data quality in a sample of filings.

If you are interested in sharing your experience – for example as a preparer or service provider – please contact us at FRCLab@frc.org.uk.