Improving the quality of financial information
Prepared by the ICC commission on :
Publication date : 06/05/2000
The globalization of business investment and capital markets has increased the need for high-quality financial information.
It is widely agreed, for example, that doubts about the reliability of
corporate financial statements in some nations contributed to the
breadth and depth of the financial crises in recent years affecting
Asia, Latin America and Russia. At the same time, business enterprises
would benefit from a common approach to financial reporting tha t is
characterized by consistency, coherence, and ease of implementation and
ICC believes that there is a substantial gap between the quality of the financial information available in many countries and the reasonable expectations of the users of this information. Closing the gap should be a priority issue for all actors in the international financial marketplace - buyers, sellers, investors, lenders, borrowers, regulators, finance ministries and central banks.
Success would mean not only improved transparency and greater comparability and reliability of financial information, but also very likely a reduction in the cost of capital and diminished burdens on business.
ICC therefore calls for the changes necessary at national and international levels so that all general-purpose financial information may be prepared according to a single worldwide framework using common measurement criteria and requiring fair and comprehensive disclosure. The framework must provide users with a transparent representation of the underlying economics of transactions and must be applied rigorously and consistently.