FRC lab to review use of artificial intelligence

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) financial reporting lab is set to release a report on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the future of corporate reporting

According to the latest Lab newsletter, it will shortly publish the next report in its digital future series, looking at how technology will impact the future of production, distribution and consumption of corporate data. This will contain potential use cases for AI in the corporate reporting process, along with some suggested actions for those involved to consider.

The lab’s recently launched project on climate and workforce disclosures follows on from earlier work on elements of the strategic report (business models, risk reporting, viability statements and performance metrics), and will consider how the recommendations from those projects apply to these two areas of reporting.

The newsletter states: ‘We still welcome further participants, particularly companies looking to evolve their reporting in this area in the upcoming reporting season.  Participants are able to be involved in either or both of the topics.’

The lab also said that with the potential arrival of the European single electronic format (ESEF), it has included a brief analysis of the experiences of some companies which have prepared accounts with XBRL tagging for their SEC filings for the first time.

This shows that companies have had mixed experiences, with some describing  the process as ‘arduous’ and ‘labour-intensive’, while others reported that it was more straight forward. All were in agreement, however, that the first year will be the most difficult and subsequent years should be simpler.

Most companies are using external providers, but many expect to handle the process in-house over the coming years.

Companies consider that it would be optimal for there to be alignment of the different taxonomies for different filing requirements (SEC, ESEF, HMRC, UK filing).

Lab Newsletter Q3-4 2018 

Report by Pat Sweet

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