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Addressing Financial Reporting Complexity

Colleen Cunningham | March 27, 2007

As this is my first column for Compliance Week, I’ve decided to go slowly, and start with a light, non-controversial topic: complexity in financial reporting.

Just kidding—I actually can’t think of a more contentious or divisive topic.

In fact, it seems like everybody is talking about complexity in our financial reporting and standard setting—it’s a topic now ubiquitous in accounting journals, corporate boardrooms, op-ed pages, and regulatory roundtables.

The question, of course, is this: When will we stop talking about it, and start doing something about it?

Unfortunately, action isn’t that easy.

Last October, when I was president of Financial Executives International, we convened a diverse group of financial-reporting constituents—including representatives from large accounting firms, the standards setters, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants,...

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