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Corporate Governance
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Corporate Governance Concept and Objectives
Corporate Governance Prerequisites and Constituents
Corporate Governance Organizational Framework
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Corporate Governance Guidelines at International Level
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Corporate Governance
CCorporate Governance
Guidelines at International Level
Cadbury Committee Report (1992)
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The 'Cadbury Committee' was set up in May 1991 with a view to overcome the huge problems of scams and failures occurring in the corporate sector worldwide in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. It was formed by the Financial Reporting Council, the London Stock of Exchange and the accountancy profession, with the main aim of addressing the financial aspects of Corporate Governance. Other objectives include: (i) uplift the low level of confidence both in financial reporting and in the ability of auditors to provide the safeguards which the users of company's reports sought and expected; (ii) review the structure, rights and roles of board of directors, shareholders and auditors by making them more effective and accountable; (iii) address various aspects of accountancy profession and make appropriate recommendations, wherever necessary; (iv) raise the standard of corporate governance; etc. Keeping this in view, the Committee published its final report on 1st December 1992. The report was mainly divided into three parts:-
  • Reviewing the structure and responsibilities of Boards of Directors and recommending a Code of Best Practice The boards of all listed companies should comply with the Code of Best Practice. All listed companies should make a statement about their compliance with the Code in their report and accounts as well as give reasons for any areas of non-compliance. The Code of Best Practice is segregated into four sections and their respective recommendations are:-

    1. Board of Directors - The board should meet regularly, retain full and effective control over the company and monitor the executive management. There should be a clearly accepted division of responsibilities at the head of a company, which will ensure a balance of power and authority, such that no one individual has unfettered powers of decision. Where the chairman is also the chief executive, it is essential that there should be a strong and independent element on the board, with a recognised senior member. Besides, all directors should have access to the advice and services of the company secretary, who is responsible to the Board for ensuring that board procedures are followed and that applicable rules and regulations are complied with.
    2. Non-Executive Directors - The non-executive directors should bring an independent judgement to bear on issues of strategy, performance, resources, including key appointments, and standards of conduct. The majority of non-executive directors should be independent of management and free from any business or other relationship which could materially interfere with the exercise of their independent judgment, apart from their fees and shareholding.
    3. Executive Directors - There should be full and clear disclosure of directors’ total emoluments and those of the chairman and highest-paid directors, including pension contributions and stock options, in the company's annual report, including separate figures for salary and performance-related pay.
    4. Financial Reporting and Controls - It is the duty of the board to present a balanced and understandable assessment of their company’s position, in reporting of financial statements, for providing true and fair picture of financial reporting. The directors should report that the business is a going concern, with supporting assumptions or qualifications as necessary. The board should ensure that an objective and professional relationship is maintained with the auditors.

  • Considering the role of Auditors and addressing a number of recommendations to the Accountancy Profession

    1. The annual audit is one of the cornerstones of corporate governance. It provides an external and objective check on the way in which the financial statements have been prepared and presented by the directors of the company. The Cadbury Committee recommended that a professional and objective relationship between the board of directors and auditors should be maintained, so as to provide to all a true and fair view of company's financial statements. Auditors' role is to design audit in such a manner so that it provide a reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free of material misstatements. Further, there is a need to develop more effective accounting standards, which provide important reference points against which auditors exercise their professional judgement. Secondly, every listed company should form an audit committee which gives the auditors direct access to the non-executive members of the board. The Committee further recommended for a regular rotation of audit partners to prevent unhealthy relationship between auditors and the management. It also recommended for disclosure of payments to the auditors for non-audit services to the company. The Accountancy Profession, in conjunction with representatives of preparers of accounts, should take the lead in:- (i) developing a set of criteria for assessing effectiveness; (ii) developing guidance for companies on the form in which directors should report; and (iii) developing guidance for auditors on relevant audit procedures and the form in which auditors should report. However, it should continue to improve its standards and procedures.
  • Dealing with the Rights and Responsibilities of Shareholders

    1. The shareholders, as owners of the company, elect the directors to run the business on their behalf and hold them accountable for its progress. They appoint the auditors to provide an external check on the directors’ financial statements. The Committee's report places particular emphasis on the need for fair and accurate reporting of a company's progress to its shareholders, which is the responsibility of the board. It is encouraged that the institutional investors/shareholders to make greater use of their voting rights and take positive interest in the board functioning. Both shareholders and boards of directors should consider how the effectiveness of general meetings could be increased as well as how to strengthen the accountability of boards of directors to shareholders.

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Cadbury Committee Report-The Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance (1992)
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