Todd Castagno, CRUF USA Co-chair, explains why it is important for investors and analysts to get involved with the CRUF
As a Co-chair of the Corporate Reporting Users’ Forum (CRUF) in the United States for nearly 5 years, I want to take this opportunity to both reflect on my experiences and highlight why the CRUF should matter to both investors and analysts.
The CRUF provides users with an international network and an open forum to educate and debate corporate reporting standards and regulations. The term ‘forum’ is key to the make-up of the CRUF. Everything we do is premised on an open dialogue, education and debate. As part of the CRUF, we recognize investors come from diverse backgrounds and use information differently. This is critically important, as most investors are not trained accountants, but nearly all rely on corporate reporting information to make investment decisions. We therefore embrace and value the diversity of backgrounds and views from our CRUF group. It is this feedback that shapes our recommendations and dialogue with key policy makers.
Stakeholder outreach is central to the CRUF’s mission. The CRUF empowers users with an avenue to shape and influence the information they receive. It also provides a conduit for those in the investor community to become more involved as volunteers with standard setting and regulatory processes. We have strong relationships with standard setters and regulators – and they listen to our views. This is important as the formal feedback mechanisms for accounting and regulatory standards are highly oriented to preparers and other stakeholders (e.g., accounting firms). And we recognize most investors don’t have the ability or capacity to process technical exposure documents and reply in letter form to proposed standards and regulations.
The CRUF network therefore provides a valuable user-oriented channel to make sure investor voices are heard and can influence.
Finally, I would say involvement with the CRUF is a great way to expand your network and meet new people. In the United States, we routinely host events on emerging hot topics, such as trends in non-GAAP reporting, implications of US corporate tax reform, and recently, the impact of the new credit loses standard (CECL model) on bank reporting. These events are wonderful opportunities to interact directly with key stakeholders, standard setters and regulators and to ensure investor experiences and views are incorporated into these important debates.
If you are interested in learning more about the CRUF, visit www.cruf.com.