Philosopher baroness to join Pan Accountancy Lunch

 Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve, philosopher and crossbench member of the House of Lords is expected to reflect on trust in business at the Pan Accountancy Lunch on 5 October 2018.

The baroness’ success seems to lie not only in her immense intellect, but in her ability to apply it to the ethical issues of the day and to present her analysis in compelling speeches.

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In her 2002 Reith Lectures, she spoke about how a “new accountability culture” was increasing the amount of legislation, regulation and consequently administration for organisations and professionals. She said: “Good governance is possible only if institutions are allowed some margin for self-governance of a form appropriate to their particular tasks, within a framework of financial and other reporting. Such reporting, I believe, is not improved by being wholly standardised or relentlessly detailed, and since much that has to be accounted for is not easily measured it cannot be boiled down to a set of stock performance indicators.”

It will be interesting to know how she would apply this approach to the challenges facing audit and audit regulation.

She does not shy away from challenging conventional wisdom. In her 2012 speech on press regulation, she described the claim to an inalienable “right” to freedom of speech as “the last defence of the scoundrel” and challenged her listeners to consider instead which freedoms of speech can be argued for and on what grounds.

There have been more than 1.5m views of the TED Talk in which she breaks trustworthiness down into three key components: competence, honesty and reliability. In doing so, she challenges us to ask ourselves whether we embody those characteristics in our professional lives and whether we apply them in deciding who to work with and who to be led by.

Don’t forget Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor and LSCA member, will be among the speakers at this year’s prestigious Pan Accountancy Lunch, to be held on 5 October 2018 at the Mansion House. Book your place

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