What Constitutes A Good And Efficient Corporate Board Accounting Essay

About 50 old ages ago, in private endeavor boards of managers ever leave a bad feeling to public because they were inactive and cosmetic. Some bookmans in this country even called the board of managers were “ decorations on a corporate Christmas tree ” ” aˆ¦an of import ceremony and legal fictionaˆ¦ ” and “ acted more like pawns of their CEO instead than the dictators the jurisprudence intended them to be. ” Unfortunately, this sort of underperformance were non merely found in US and UK, it besides happened in many parts of East Asia, Russia, Japan which called the “ crony capitalist economy ” , the “ mobster capitalist economy ” and the “ political cronyism ” severally.

With the turning of the underperformance of boards, much attending has focus on how to better the boards ‘ effectivity. For illustration, the Cadbury Report ( 1992 ) , which is the first study effort to formalise corporate administration best pattern in a written papers, focused attending on the board of managers as being the most of import corporate administration mechanism, necessitating changeless monitoring and appraisal. After that, Hampel Report ( 1998 ) , Combined Code ( 1998 ) and Turnbull Report ( 1999 ) in UK were set up to response the concern on board of managers later and besides, these study holding influenced the development of corporate administration codifications in many others states.

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However, the jobs of corporate administration are still exist. Recent old ages a figure of ill-famed corporate prostrations such as Enron, Royal Ahold, Parmalat and others have put the limelight on the boards of managers once more. In order to reaction to these dirts and reconstruct public assurance and trust in the administration of public corporations, tonss of recommendations including academic research and proposal of corporate administration reform have been made about how to better the administration of companies, particularly on the boards of managers. Because the common point of position was that the board is the major driving force of administration in a compay, if board of managers had taken a more active function instead than passive to size up fiscal statement, some of corporate prostrations would hold been avoided or at least minimized.

Therefore, in this paper, with the mention of academic literature and proposal of corporate administration reform, many enterprises will be considered to discuses cardinal standards constitute a good and effectual board. Before identify this, the function, responsibility and duty of board of managers are necessary to see.

II. The Role, Duty and Responsibility of Board

Harmonizing to the Combined Code ( 2008 ) “ Every company should be headed by an effectual board, which is jointly responsible for the success of the company ” . What the board does? In by and large talking, the undertaking of board is to leads, controls and directs a company every bit good as the board acts as a span between the investors who provide capital and the managers who utilize that investing capital to make value and responsible for organisation the endeavor. Consequently an effectual board is the basis to the success of the company. The board is non merely the major driving force of administration in a company but besides a important portion of the corporate construction.

The duty of board can be seen to ‘involve four basic elements- scheme preparation and policy devising, supervising of executive direction, and answerability to stockholders and others. ‘[ 4 ]In order to fulfill their RESs sponsibilities, managers have to looking inwards at the endeavor every bit good as outwards to the companies outside state of affairs such as economic, political, and spcial context in which it operates and besides see the hereafter of endeavor every bit good as its presnet state of affairs.

III. Identifying Criteria for Good Boards of Directors

Over these old ages, with the increasing demands from investors for tools to assist them to measure the degree of one company, different states and organisations around the universe evaluate and score the degree of corporate administration and hence this demand stimulated a system called corporate administration evaluation system. Unusually, the current evaluation system take assorted attacks and burdening in measuring the rank of corporate administration and they makes usage of ranging of methodological analysiss to accomplish their concluding decisions. In pattern, about all evaluation systems build up on the rules of corporate administration which are identified around the universe and codifications which are published by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD ) , International Corporate Governance Network ( ICGN ) and World Bank, besides that, due to the different civilization, legal system, spiritual traditions, political stableness economic events and board construction or some other elements, each state will completed evaluation system with their ain specific demands.

Based on legion academic research focuses on the board effectivity and introduced some standards to analyze whether they have associate with good board, Van den Berghe and Abigail Levrau sum up these standards in three classs. Category ( I ) standards used by about evaluation systems, including independency of foreigner managers, board commissions and, manager and executive compensation ; Category ( II ) standard found in some of the evaluation systems, including board size, board leading construction, function of the board, frequence of board meetings ; Category ( III ) criteria exceptionally included, including buttocks to information, age restriction, board reappraisal and education/ preparation.[ 5 ]Obvious, the effectivity of the board depends on changing elements. Below, board independency, board commissions, board size, board diverseness, dividing the function of president and main executive office, frequence of Board meetings, entree to information, managers ‘ preparation will be present in inside informations that have been recommended in order to guarantee board effectivity.

Board Independence

Increase the representation of outside managers on company ‘s council chambers is ever a top precedence for corporate administration reformists.[ 6 ]Because non-executive managers are independent from direction, they are regard as to be willing to stand up to the Chief Executive Officer to maintain stockholder involvements safe and therefore it is widely recognized that independent managers play an important function, peculiarly in those countries where there is a possible for struggles of involvement, such as fiscal control, nomination and wage. Besides that, the important function of non-executive besides recognized from the position of bureau theory, the being of independent non-executive managers in company council chamber should help to diminish the ill-famed struggles of involvement between stockholders and the direction of company, because if company ‘s council chamber have independent managers they can convey in a independent position and presenting an independent voice to the board determination.

The recommended about non-executive managers initiate by the Cadbury Report ( 1992 ) , this study recommended that the board of managers should include a lower limit of three non-executive managers who are able to act upon the board ‘s determinations.[ 7 ]The Cadbury Report besides stressed that the procedure of assignment of non-executive managers was an of import, that should be utilizing a nomination commission to choose non- executive managers in order to beef uping their independency.[ 8 ]Then in 1998 the Hampel Report readdressed the of import function of non-executive managers and keeps the minimal figure of non-executives on the board.[ 9 ]

Following the prostrations of Enron, Parmalat most of evaluation systems once more focused attention- explicitly or implicitly- on the board independency, in peculiar on the effectivity of the independent manager map. The US responded by bring forthing the Sarbanes- Oxley Act of 2002 to the corporate misdirection, managerial surpluss, and deceit by corporate executives while the UK produced the Higgs Report ( 2003 ) and Smith Report ( 2003 ) to the considerable impart of uneffective non-executive managers and in Higgs Report, it recommended that at least half of a company ‘s board of managers should be independent non-executive managers. However, pension fund directors and pension fund legal guardians, who jointly represent the weight of the institutional investors community in the UK, expressed their inauspicious sentiment about at least half the board of a company should consist independent non-executive managers, as 40 % of the conference delegates ballots against it.[ 10 ]

Indeed, although the non-executive have play an indispensable function on board, it is demands to be witting of that the balance between outside and inside managers in council chambers is besides of import for an effectual board, as:

“ the executive managers besides called inside managers who are proprietors or directors of a company provide utile information about the company ‘s activities, while non-executive managers besides called outside managers who are non proprietors or director of a company and non take part in the daily running of concern but monitor the executive activity. As novice stated in Cadbury Report ( 1992 ) non-executive managers should lend or supply their expertness, accomplishment, knowledge independent and impartial positions in measuring the directors ‘ scheme, public presentation, resources, assignments, determinations and criterions of behavior. The corporate board of managers, with its mix of experience, independency, and legal power, is a potentially powerful administration mechanism ”[ 11 ]

Board Committees

In recent old ages, a figure of groundss could be raise to exemplify that set up board commissions in carry throughing its primary maps to ‘director, regulate, proctor, oversee, supervise and comply ‘ . The board may name diverse sub-committees. In general, audit, wage commission has been installed in most companies and the audit commission is arguably the most of import of the board sub-committees. Besides audit commission, moralss commission besides receives peculiarly high precedence after a series of dirts. In this portion these two commissions will be present to see as an of import parts of a good corporate board.

Audit Committee

As mentioned before, UK and US put frontward some recommendations after such instances as Enron and Parmalat. In UK, Smith study stress audit commission plays an of import function and defined the function of audit commission as ‘oversight ‘ , ‘assessment ‘ and ‘review ‘ . The Cadbury Report suggested that an audit commission should be formed. In US, Sarbanes-Oxley exciting companies must put up an audit commission, which is merely composed of independent board members. In add-on, the members of audit commission should be including at least one member who is fiscal expert.

Ethical motives Committee

After the prostration of Enron more and more companies established moralss commissions as board sub-committee because they want guarantee that there is a strong organisational moral principle throughout the company, signifier manager degree to the employees. As Crane said: ‘ moralss plans may affect a smaller cost now and ensue in important nest eggs in the hereafter in the united provinces, for illustration, corporations can significantly cut down their mulct once they have been found guilty in condemnable processs by demoing that an effectual moralss plan was in topographic point ‘ .[ 12 ]Therefore, moralss commission should be established for the good and effectual board and therefore lend to a authoritative concern.

Board Size

In the academic research board size are one of the most often used factor to place a good and effectual board and it is besides a important standard which is included in most corporate administration evaluation systems.

Yermack studied a sample of big US public endeavor to analyze the board size and so conclude that there is a negative correlativity between the size of board and company market value[ 13 ]. In the undermentioned old ages, similar statistical grounds were support Yermack ‘s decision. The survey by Eisenberg et al utilizing little non-listed Finnish companies as a sample and showed a opposite relationship between board size and company ‘s value[ 14 ], and besides, after studied five European states Conyon and Peck found a negative correlativity between ROE of stockholders and the size of board[ 15 ].

Increasing figure of managers offer a mix board because the larger board the more experience, accomplishment, cognition and academic country they are involved and larger boards “ may cut down domination by the Chief executive officer ”[ 16 ]. However, Expanding the board size could contribute lack communicating and hard to organize. In add-on, larger boards could besides ensue in efficient because of deficiency motive and engagement and apt to “ develop cabals and alliances ”[ 17 ].

In amount, legion academic researches grounds that a negative relationship between larger boards and corporate public presentation. However, a minimal figure of managers should non disregard. A restriction of the maximal figure of board members is advocated. The board of managers should be little plenty to be effectual, more cohesive and to enable more engagement and treatment.

Board Diversity

Emphasis is besides placed on board diverseness. Harmonizing to the Higgs Report that in listed companies in UK, larger portion of non-executive managers were male, white, middle-aged and British beginning in the council chamber. Obviously, the emerging academic literature recommend that this is non a good state of affairs for boards and hence for companies ‘ public presentation[ 18 ], because with the globalisation and market assortment, the demand for more diverseness in council chamber to cover with complexnesss concern environment is besides increasing.

Consequently bookmans in corporate administration recommend that the corporate boards should more diverseness in order to make the demands of concern diverseness in modern society. In the interim, progressively academic literatures based on research support this statements and conclude that widening council chamber have positive impact on stakeholders, companies ‘ repute, and board public presentations.[ 19 ]For illustration, the Tyson study ( 2003 ) accent that the diverse composing of board could do company more confident when they running their concern because they have more experts with specific background, accomplishments and comprehension to cover with tough issues. Take a group as an illustration, if societal and environment anteroom groups have a non-executive manager whose background was in environmental ordinance or human resource direction, it will increase company ‘s competitory power relation to companies with less experts.

This sort of diverseness could be evaluated on assorted dimensions: age, gender, cultural group, educational background, working experience and others. In 2003, Carter et Al. size up the association between widening board and company value for Fortune 1000 houses. After commanding for house size, purchase, industry, and other corporate administration standards which are known to act upon steadfast public presentation, the consequence shows that great positive links between participate of female and cultural minorities on the council chamber and house value.[ 20 ]Therefore, in this portion, gender and nationality will be present in inside informations to explicate how board diverseness could heighten board effectivity.

Gender Diversity in the Boardroom

Greater female in council chamber is most arguable issue in board diverseness. An emerging research has examined whether the gender diverseness could lend to an effectual board. The empirical grounds is equivocal, Sharder et Al ( 1997 ) , Farell and Hersch ( 2005 ) they are fail to happen any important association between the presence of adult females and steadfast fiscal penchant while Crater et Al. ( 2003 ) , Erharde et Al. ( 2003 ) Catalyst ( 2004 ) study that there is a positive nexus between fiscal public presentation and female board representation.[ 21 ]

However, in recent old ages increasing groundss indicated that presence of female in company ‘s council chamber is necessary based on several grounds. First, as mentioned before, the demand for market assorted require more diverseness of a house ‘s managers to run into the demands of diverseness clients and employees, participate of adult females could increasing its capacity to occupy markets, particularly in retailing, banking or public public-service corporations which have close nexus with concluding consume.[ 22 ]Second, diverseness of gender in council chamber could heighten problem-solving and determination devising, because sometimes adult male and adult female may see and decide issues organize different position.[ 23 ]Third, assignment of female outside managers to boards may increase the independency of the board, for the ground that comparison to adult male, adult female are more incline to inquire inquiries and therefore do the board-decision more transparency and independency.[ 24 ]Another statement for gender diverseness is that if CEOs and nomination commissions are selected managers without bias signifier both genders it will spread out the beginnings of campaigners and therefore better the quality of the board of managers.

However, despite a figure of bookmans recommended that the positive impacts of appoint female managers, the figure of female on boards is still low. Accord to the Catalyst ‘s statistics, adult females held 14.7 % of all Fortune 500 Board place in 2005 and 14.6 % in 2006, a diminution of 0.1 % compared to the last twelvemonth.[ 25 ]In order to better the public presentation of companies, the board could name mass three or more of female managers in council chamber.[ 26 ]

Cultural Diverseness

The proportion of cultural minorities in UK and US are turning, in order to aiming cultural groups in strategic selling to run into their specific demands, the companies should use virtuousness employees from these groups because similarly persons from different cultural backgrounds will supply extra cultural penetrations to the council chamber in their decision-marking. Besides, appoint cultural minorities is good for companies ‘ repute and organize the long-run position, race diverseness will heighten houses ‘ fiscal public presentation. Indeed, the emerging position is that cultural diverseness actions could hold a mensurable consequence on their board.[ 27 ]

Dividing the Role of Chairman and Chief Executive Office

The functions of president and main executive officer ( CEO ) are still a one of the controversial and unsettle job in corporate administration. CEO has the executive duty for daily running of the company ‘s concern while the president is responsible for the taking the board of managers, non the company and puting the board docket every bit good as for guaranting that the board meets often[ 28 ].

A cardinal inquiry in contemporary corporate administration around the universe is whether should be separate the function of president and CEO in council chamber in order to heighten its effectual. In the position of codifications of good pattern in corporate administration, it all suggests that the functions should be separate.

This recommendation Begin with the Cadbury Report ( 1992 ) , in this study it suggest that power and authorization between president and CEO should be balance. In the undermentioned old ages, assorted codifications and proposal of administration reform still concentrate on this country. Influenced by series of dirt in 2003 the Higgs study re-emphasized the important consequence of dividing the function of president and CEO, and so in 2008 Combine Code stated that ‘the functions of president and main executive should non be exercised by the same person ‘ in a written papers.[ 29 ]If making so, it will cut down the power of CEO otherwise there could be authorized excessively much power in one individual.

As a consequence of corporate administration reform, particularly influenced by the recommendations of Cadbury Report ( 1992 ) , companies in UK have by and large separation of the CEO and board chair functions, in 2003 merely five FTSE 100 companies had a joint chairman/ main executive officer in UK listed companies.[ 30 ]However the United States has been slower to originate alteration in this country, the functions of president and CEO tend to be the same individual. The statement for joint functions of CEO and president are companies with combined functions in American have been run successfully for coevalss, and houses merely need one leader otherwise distributing leading responsibilities during two people will take to conflict.

However, due to the maltreatment of power by the caput of endeavor a series of prostrations happened in the United States and therefore there have been some calls for the dividing the functions of CEO and president. Nevertheless, some of them still resisted it because of separation would gnaw their power.[ 31 ]

Besides codifications of good pattern, a figure of academic research workers besides associating to the of import of these enterprises and examined whether it is good for effectual corporate board. However, harmonizing to the former academic literature, there is no expressed consequence on the relationship between leading construction and steadfast public presentation. Some advocators of stewardship theory advice that if the functions of president and CEO exercised by the same person, it could lend unified board leading and hence stimulates the dynamic to transport out[ 32 ]. Conversely, there is a strong impact between company bankruptcy and its board leading construction. In other words, if one company non dividing the function of president and CEO are incline with bankruptcy[ 33 ].

All in all, the functions of president and CEO should non be combined and lead by one individual, as this would given an single excessively much power. The functions of president and CEO should sooner be split to assist guarantee that no one person is excessively powerful and maltreatment it.

Frequency and Quality of Board Meetings

A good and effectual board should connote minimal figure of board meetings to maintain the companies running successful ; hence frequence of board meetings is used by some evaluation systems to measure the board effectivity. After all, the board meeting is one of of import ways for decision-making.

On the footing of in-depth interviews with 60 board members of Belgian list companies, Van den Berghe et Al. asked managers to sum up what criteria constitutes good and effectual board, most of the respondents pointed out that the quality and measure of the board meetings is the most of import factors.[ 34 ]

In order to hold an best and effectual board meeting, frequence of board meetings is undoubted and in the meantime quality of board meeting besides can non be ignore, based on these demands several elements need to be considered. The first and most of import issue should be concerns are entree information. In the modern concern, information could be considered as competitory arm, ‘the free and accurate flow of information in and out of the board is as critical to the healthy operating of the corporate organic structure, it is merely like the free and unhampered flow of blood is to the healthy operation of the human organic structure. ‘[ 35 ]If the managers receive accurate and dependable information in progress or on a timely, they could do response quicker than their rivals or hold sufficient clip to fix which is viewed as crucial for the meeting. The 2nd issue raised is about the quality of the treatments or arguments during the board meetings. Real, unfastened, in-depth treatments are important for an effectual board meeting. In add-on, such arguments must take topographic point inside the board room instead than behind the scenes. Persons should hold the chance to utilize their prepare information and so presented them in an analytic and inclusive manner, and each managers ‘ recommendations should be nonsubjective and neutrality. In the interim based on comfy and constructive clime, the board of managers must be critical instead than complimentary all the clip. The 3rd point is the manner the determinations are taken by the board of managers. The decision-marking should be independent, without the stockholder involved.

Directors ‘ Training

There is few researches focus on the managers ‘ preparation associate with the corporate fiscal public presentation. However, as good known instruction and makings are playing an addition of import function in the modern society, in order to make and running an expeditiously board, person ‘s specific cognition, accomplishments abilities, experience are indispensable every bit good as relevant new Torahs, ordinances and germinating concern hazards.

Indeed, preparation of managers was initiated recommend by the Cadbury Report ( 1992 )[ 36 ]and reaffirmed by the Hampel Report ( 1998 ) , Higgs Report ( 2003 ) . In order to response the recommendation of Derek Higgs for preparation of non-executive managers, some universities in UK provided preparation classs for non-executive managers but they found it is hard to transport out and so call off it. One ground is that most board members think they are non needfully to have preparation because they already have the equal experience before they take this occupation, this sort of preparation programmes may merely be a time-wasting exercising.

However, could anyone claim they are familiar with everything about what they do? Obviously this attitude seems to be arrogance, there is more to larn particularly under the complexness concern environment.

With the turning of import function of managers, they should following the recommendation by these study ‘directors should have appropriate preparation ‘ in order to run into the turning demand of professionalism and the increasing complication of undertaking and therefore better the effectivity of board and house values.


Aftermath of Enron and other corporate prostrations, the function of board are going progressively of import and going more carefully to analyze, this paper signifier board independency, board commissions, board size, board diverseness, dividing the function of president and main executive office, frequence of Board meetings, managers ‘ preparation to discourse how to heighten the board effectivity. However, spread will ever be between theory and pattern, merely like the rule of OECD ‘One Size Does Not Fit All ‘ each company would hold its ain particular, except some general factors each companies ‘ size, age of managers, clients, employees, international engagement and schemes besides should be consider to set up a good and effectual board.


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