News April 2017 FRC issues a Discussion Paper on the role of Auditors and Preliminary Announcements

FRC issues a Discussion Paper on the role of Auditors and Preliminary Announcements

27 April 2017

Preliminary announcements are an important part of the corporate reporting landscape in the UK. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has issued a discussion paper which considers the role of auditors and preliminary announcements of annual results, with a particular focus on the LSE main market. The FRC discussion paper is intended to stimulate an open discussion with stakeholders about the use and value of preliminary announcements in the UK, and the role of the auditor in respect to such announcements. This will support the updating of our current auditor guidance.

The most common approach is for preliminary results to be based on audited information, although a minority of companies publish preliminaries based on unaudited information. Some listed entities have been moving towards the simultaneous publication of annual results in ‘preliminary’ form alongside the statutory financial statements.

Our stakeholder engagement suggests that there is limited understanding of the current role of the auditor when agreeing to the publication of preliminaries. We have therefore identified a range of options to support the revision of our guidance, and provide greater clarity. Respondents are encouraged to also share with us other innovative ideas or emerging practice for consideration that fall outside of the scope of the options contained within this discussion paper.

The FRC is inviting comments on this Discussion Paper by 5pm on Friday, 23 June 2017. Comments are invited in writing on all aspects of the Discussion Paper and should be sent to James Ferris:

Discussion Paper - Invitation to comment: Auditors and Preliminary Announcements (PDF)