Risk in financial reporting: status, challenges and suggested directions

BIS Working Papers No 213
August 2006

On 11-12 November 2005, the BIS held a workshop on Accounting, risk management and prudential regulation, which brought together a multi-disciplinary group of around 35 external participants including senior accounting practitioners, standard setters, finance academics, supervisors and central bank officials. The workshop programme is attached. This paper was presented at the workshop.

Abstract:

Advances in risk measurement technology have reshaped financial markets and the functioning of the financial system. More recently, they have been reshaping the prudential framework. Looking forward, they have the potential to reshape financial reporting too. Recent initiatives to improve financial reporting standards have brought to the fore significant differences in perspective between accounting standard setters and prudential authorities. Building on previous work, we argue that risk measurement and management technology can be instrumental in bridging this gap and, by the same token, in improving financial reporting. Risk measurement plays a crucial role in the measurement, verification and validation of valuations. It is the basis for giving more prominence to risk and measurement error information in public disclosures. And it could act as more of a focal point in the design of accounting standards, as greater consistency between sound risk management practices and accounting standards can help to narrow the wedge between accounting and underlying economic valuations.

JEL classification: D52, G00, G12, G28, M41.

Keywords: Accounting, financial reporting, regulation, risk measurement and management