FRC announces areas of supervisory focus for 2022/23

News types: Operating Procedures, Policies and Responsibilities, Publications, Statements

Published: 3 December 2021

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has today announced its areas of supervisory focus for 2022/23, including priority sectors, for corporate reporting reviews and audit quality inspections.

The FRC’s Supervision Corporate Reporting Review team will supplement its routine reviews of corporate reporting with six thematic reviews. These reviews will identify scope for improvement, as well as examples of better practice, in areas of key stakeholder interest.

The FRC’s Supervision Audit Quality Review team will pay particular attention in its reviews to areas including climate-related risks, fraud risks, and cash and cash flow statements.

In selecting corporate reports and audits for review, the FRC will prioritise sectors that are under particular pressure including (i) Travel, Hospitality and Leisure and (ii) Retail.

Thematic reviews of corporate reporting

The Corporate Reporting Review team will conduct six thematic reviews during the next year:
  • TCFD Reporting and Climate-related Reporting in Financial Statements: In collaboration with the FCA, the FRC will perform a thematic review of TCFD disclosures provided by premium listed companies in response to the new Listing Rule, and of the extent to which the financial statements reflect the impact of climate change.
  • Business Combinations (IFRS 3): Issues relating to compliance with this standard have featured in the FRC’s ‘top ten’ findings for several years.  The FRC will undertake a general thematic review of accounting issues under this standard and identify examples of better practice.
  • Earnings per Share (IAS 33): While identification of issues related to this standard have been less frequent than the issues identified in the FRC's top 10, miscalculations of EPS can result in material errors on the face of the income statement.  The FRC will focus on those areas where it has previously identified errors.
  • Deferred Tax (IAS 12): There will be a particular focus on disclosures around deferred tax assets and whether the evidence supporting the recognition of deferred tax assets for losses is sufficiently robust.
  • Discount Rates: The FRC's review will provide an overview of the requirements of IFRS in respect of discount rates and will highlight some of the difficulties companies encounter in determining appropriate discount rates to apply in the measurement of assets and liabilities.
  • Judgements and Estimates: This has been an area of focus for the FRC in prior years. The FRC will specifically look at (i) disclosures around sensitivities and ranges of outcomes and (ii) disclosures involving judgements and assumptions made in estimating mineral reserves.
The FRC will aim to stagger the work and release the findings, which may take a range of forms, over the course of the year.

Areas of focus for audit quality inspections

The FRC's Supervision programme of audit quality inspections will pay particular attention to the auditor’s work in the following areas:
  • Climate-related risks
  • Fraud risks
  • Cash and cash flow statements
  • Provisions and contingent liabilities
  • Impairment of assets
  • Revenue
  • Group audits
These are areas of investor/public concern and/or heightened risk areas giving rise to recurring findings in audit inspections; findings of cross-firm Supervisory reviews; and findings arising from recent FRC Enforcement cases.

Priority sectors

In selecting corporate reports and audits for review, the FRC will give priority to the following sectors:
  • Travel, Hospitality and Leisure 
  • Retail 
  • Construction and Materials
  • Gas, Water and Multi-utilities
These sectors are considered by the FRC to be higher risk, for corporate reporting and audit, by virtue of economic or other pressures.