COVID: Notice to clients with reporting projects

19/03/20

Please see below our second update on how we are equipping ourselves to meet the requirements of customers whilst protecting our staff.

Business as usual
Our aim is to keep calm and carry on. We took measures early to protect our most vulnerable people and over the past week have been migrating our team to work from home and revising our working practices accordingly. We are comfortable that we have everything covered, and our team are equipped and committed to deliver as things stand. We have also doubled up on security to make sure that files are safe and confidentiality isn’t compromised. We ask clients to continue to communicate via their account manager who will manage the process of updating designs and making amends.

What might change?
If London goes into a form of lockdown, inevitably the process of producing reports will change, sign offs may need to be virtual, printers proofs may be difficult to sign off by everyone, the act of uploading and downloading large files might slow down production – particularly as schools close and there is more strain on the country’s digital infrastructure. We will do our best to deliver when we say we will, but trust you will bear with us if there are occasional delays.

Working as a team
We are part of a supply chain involving many client teams, auditors, writers, designers, typesetters, printers, proof readers, digital experts and more. Bringing together so many people involves a great deal of planning and if any stage of the process falters it can have a knock on effect, we are working closely with all our colleagues and clients and emphasising the importance of clear and regular communications. We have a young team and hope this will minimise the effects of sickness but inevitably illness will be a further issue we need to tackle. We are asking all of our clients inform us as soon as possible if anyone is ill at their end, so that we can plan around their absence.

Delays in corporate reporting – official view FRC/FCA
The FRC and FCA are conscious that coronavirus may create logistical issues when producing accounts for upcoming reporting periods. They expect issuers to put in place contingency plans to minimise these impacts. If an issuer does not believe it is able to meet its continuing obligations it should take appropriate advice and contact the FCA to discuss. Issuers should engage with their auditors, who should contact the FRC, as appropriate.

The FCA’s perspective:
https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/newsletters/primary-market-bulletin-issue-no-27-coronavirus-update

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