Fraser I & Lee B (2016) Fair, Balanced and Understandable: Enhancing corporate reporting and assurance?. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. https://www.icas.com/technical-resources/fair-balanced-and-understandable-enhancing-corporate-reporting-and-assurance
First paragraph: The recent requirement by the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) for corporate boards to confirm that their annual reports are ‘fair, balanced and understandable’ (FBU), and for external auditors to report by exception on this confirmation, innovates in both corporate and audit reporting. FBU may be viewed as a regulatory response to widespread perceptions of a need to enhance corporate reporting, particularly as accounting and auditing continue to be subject to critical scrutiny in the aftermath of financial and economic crisis. FBU also specifically reflects the growing importance of narrative corporate reporting as, for example, in the issue of an International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) practice statement on management commentary and a trend of an increasing volume of narrative content in the annual reports of major companies. At the same time, academic research suggests that investors and other users are interested in assurance on the ‘front-half’1 of the annual report.