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The new Balance Sheet special report, 2004: The Year In The Balance. Balance Sheet from leading international publisher Emerald is written for Divisonal and Executive Directors, CEO's, Senior VP's and Managers to CFOs and Financial Directors/VPs, Corporate Treasurers, Auditors and regulators and Special accountants, bank economists and consultants. The report is normally on a subscriber only basis but can be made available to you upon request for journalistic purposes.

Below are the abstracts of the articles. There are 8 in total, plus an editorial piece from Robert Bruce. All the articles are comment and analysis of the many, major changes that come in to force during 2004. These new regulations will have a huge impact on every publicly quoted company across Europe and the US. The line up of authors is very impressive, a few of the 'big fish' are below:

Balance Sheet Special Report. 2004: The Year In The Balance
The world of banking and financial services has never been in a state of such uncertainty. Over the past year and the year ahead decisions on bank regulation, accounting standards, financial instruments, corporate governance and risk management either have had or will have far-reaching implications and consequences. This Balance Sheet Special publication, '2004: The Year In The Balance', has gathered together a distinguished panel of contributors from around the globe to provide their expert assessments and predictions. It is essential briefing for the year ahead.

Article abstracts and author bios.

Disclosure, Litigation and Regulation: The Challenges of the Year Ahead by Mike Rake
ABSTRACT: The author, Chairman of one of the biggest international accounting firms in the world, takes a worried look ahead at 2004. He predicts that greater regulation could bring as many problems as benefits around the world.
BIO - Mike Rake is International Chairman of KPMG.

How prospective financial information will transform 2004 by Robert Hodgkinson
ABSTRACT - The author, technical director of the UK’s biggest accounting body, assesses how businesses will cope with new financial reporting rules in 2004 and predicts that an emphasis on reporting on prospective financial information will come to the fore.
BIO - Robert Hodgkinson is Technical Director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

A Seven-Point Prediction for 2004 by Robert Bittlestone
ABSTRACT - The authors provide a seven point plan for what 2004 holds. Their predictions range from a tougher environment for company directors as investors fight back and a greater focus from financial reporting on the future and cash.
BIO - Robert Bittlestone is the CEO and founder of Metapraxis, the research-based consultancy and software group specialising in multinational business performance visualisation. He is the author of many business articles and a frequent conference speaker on both sides of the Atlantic.

Looking Ahead at 2004: A Global Standard-Setter’s Perspective by Sir David Tweedie
ABSTRACT - 2004 is the year when companies around the world need to move their financial reporting to the rules laid down by the International Accounting Standards Board. In this article the Chairman of that Board, Sir David Tweedie outlines what this change will mean. He also points out that the success of the process is down to way that the regulators behave and whether vested interests are allowed to triumph.
BIO - Sir David Tweedie is Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board.

2004: The year of truth by Karel Van Hulle
ABSTRACT - The author, the European Commission’s chief of financial reporting in financial markets, argues that 2004 could be a year of crisis or a year of progress. Which it will be depends on whether financial reporting rises to the challenges which the European Commission has created. He suggests that people’s behaviours are just as important as rules in creating an effective capital market.
BIO - Karel Van Hulle is Head of Unit for Accounting and Auditing at the European Commission.

Hopes and Fears for Financial Reporting and Corporate Governance by Robert G. Eccles
ABSTRACT - The author, one of the leading business thinkers in the US and a former Harvard Business School professor, puts forward his hopes and fears for the year 2004. He hopes that the worlds of financial reporting and corporate governance will become clearer and more effective but he worries that resistance from company directors and a preference for rules rather than principles will hinder this process. On balance he concludes that he is more hopeful than fearful for the year ahead.
BIO - Robert G. Eccles is a former Harvard Business School professor and Chairman of Board Governance Services, Inc., a firm which provides advice to boards and management to help improve corporate governance.

Caught in the middle: The treasury view of 2004 by Richard Raeburn
ABSTRACT - The author, chief executive of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, looks ahead at two challenges of 2004 in the continuing arguments over international financial reporting rules on financial instruments, which he believes will create inconsistencies in banking accounts and treasury practices, and in the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation which he believes will create a burden of excessive certification.
BIO - Richard Raeburn is Chief Executive of the Association of Corporate Treasurers

Corporate regulation: Dead Hand or Safeguard in the Year 2004 by Roger Davis
Abstract - The author, head of professional affairs at PricewaterhouseCoopers, suggests that there are great differences in the approach to regulation between the US and Europe and suggests that the issues of risk management needs to better take this into account as the year 2004 unfolds.
BIO - Roger Davis is Head of Professional Affairs at PricewaterhouseCoopers

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