For most of a company’s shareholders, the most tangible thing they ever see of their investment is the annual report. In modern times and for many companies and other organisations, it can amount to something the thickness of a paperback book. And given the amount of information it normally contains, the potential for getting something wrong can be enormous. That’s why companies devote, or should devote, a lot of effort into getting right – that doesn’t just mean making sure the contents are factually correct but also making sure that the document as a whole conveys the message you want about the company and how it is developing.
Any remaining hopes for a smooth Brexit were dashed in January with the UK Prime Minister’s failure to secure a parliamentary majority for her EU withdrawal agreement. This means that all possibilities are still open for the future after March. Leaving the EU without a deal will prevent any transition period and require firms to continue to work on their Brexit contingency planning for a wider range of scenarios. This is made all the harder by the lack of clarity about what each of the possible options will mean for a firm’s clients.