Companies 'should cut 30% from their annual reports'

COMPANIES are expected to dump "excess baggage" from their annual reports following recommendations being put forward this afternoon by Scottish accountants.

A joint working party - consisting of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (Icas) and its New Zealand counterpart - will tell the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) that the length of company reports should be slashed by 30 per cent.

The IASB - which was led by Scottish accountant Sir David Tweedie until he stood down as chairman at the end of last month - set up the working party after the average length of UK listed companies' accounts rose by 44 per cent from 2005 to 2010.

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Isobel Sharp, a visiting professor at Edinburgh University Business School and a senior partner with "big four" accountancy firm Deloitte, led the working party.

She said: "We have carried out a massive spring-cleaning exercise, throwing out those disclosure requirements that simply add clutter to the statements."

Last year Icas published Making Corporate Reports Readable, a template to reduce company reports to just 30 pages rather than the 400 produced by some banks. Hugh Shields, Icas's then chairman, branded such lengthy reports as "a Frankenstein's monster of information".

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