Auditing continuous disclosure risk
A speech by John Price, Commissioner, Australian Securities and Investments Commission at SOPAC 2015, Institute of Internal Auditors Conference (Hilton, Sydney), 18 March 2015
Compliance with continuous disclosure provisions goes to the heart of ASIC’s priority of promoting fair and efficient markets, and this issue remains a central focus for ASIC.
The integrity and efficiency of our financial markets depends on all investors having access to market-sensitive information about listed entities at the same time. Leakage of information prior to market announcement can lead to continuous disclosure problems, insider trading, and an undermining of investor confidence. It can also pose threats to the outcome of corporate transactions. Recent matters like Newcrest serve to emphasise the significance of continuous disclosure for entities and for ASIC as the regulator.
A key idea that I’d like you all to think about is that good continuous disclosure compliance comes down to preparation and organisation. In particular, the internal audit function within an entity can play a critical role in avoiding the risk of continuous disclosure breaches.