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Building Public Trust: The Future of Corporate Reporting.

By Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr. and Robert G. Eccles 179 pages; hardcover; $24.95 John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2002 (Copyright[C]2002 PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr. (CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Robert G. Eccles (president of Advisory Capital Partners) ask us to imagine a time 10 years from now, when (they hope) all publicly listed companies will issue fully transparent financial statements. This, they believe, is the way to rebuild the trust that has been lost in recent years. The authors of this visionary book invite readers to join the discussion on how to reach their ideal.

Using illustrations and drawing on examples from the experiences of some major companies, they present a formula for transforming corporate reporting. They believe all the elements of what they call "the corporate reporting supply chain" (executives, board members, outside auditors, information distributors, analysts, investors and other stakeholders) must work in step with regulators and standard setters. The authors advance a "three-tier model of corporate transparency" which includes

* Uniform international generally accepted accounting principles.

* Standards for reporting industry-specific measurements and reporting.

* Standards for company-specific measurements and reporting.

They foresee all parties using technologies such as the Internet and XBRL as part of the process, and they provide information about how some companies and regulators already have begun working on the transparency issue.

Even visionaries have to be realistic, and DiPiazza and Eccles recognize that the road to realizing their concept of the future of corporate reporting will involve dialogue, compromise, study and changes of habit. They frame the discussion very well in this interesting, educational book. Keep an open mind and join in.

STANLEY PERSON, CPA, of Person and Co., believes in reading for education and relaxation. His e-mail address is panda
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Person, Stanley
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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