Even as companies deal with the disruptions brought about by the pandemic, there are many opportunities to ride in this dangerous wind. As black swan events of this nature become more common, companies must embed strategic thinking into their business models to be future-ready.
Gender diversity is being relentlessly pushed. The oft-championed argument that it improves company performance does not pass muster. Instead, the valid argument may be social justice for women who are disproportionately under-represented on boards.
It has been some years since the simplified Charities Accounting Standard was introduced. However, most Singapore charities still use the well-weathered Financial Reporting Standards in their financial reporting. There are good reasons why they refused to change.
Fair value measurement and other accounting standards seek to reflect the real world and ensure equity across generations of investors. However, in the process, they have eroded the age-old principle of conservatism and resulted in volatile and, in some cases, unrealistic financial statements.
The Nine-Year Rule for director independence was meant to encourage board renewal. However, it often ends up achieving neither. If renewal is to achieved, either the rules or their implementation must change.
Auditor rotation - is it time? Auditor rotation can enhance the independence and effectiveness of the audit. But it is also time-consuming and disruptive. Whether regulators mandate it or not, boards should establish a policy that recognises the systemic risk of retaining auditors indefinitely and the other mechanisms for achieving auditor independence and effectiveness.
A Bloomberg columnist’s criticism of Singapore boards is not borne out by the numbers or cross-country comparisons. But he raises several relevant points for Singapore directors to take a good hard look at ourselves and our roles.
Independence is a state of mind. The regulatory tests of blood and money are inadequate for determining independence. The challenge is for every director to be professional and have the moral courage to rise to the occasion and be truly objective and independent.
The book launch of Doing Good Great is held in conjunction with the Singapore Writers Festival. Appearing at the event will be the authors: Willie Cheng, Sharifah Mohamed and Cheryl Tang. Together with the following social entrepreneurs: Dr Bindeshwar Pathak Founder…
The ideals of an effective board are not found in the regulations. The effective board is one that emphasises performance rather than just conformance. It focuses on values as well as value. And it should strongly support as well as challenge management.