BDO Transitions: Time for sensible regulation

A NEW report into Government regulation finds that businesses feel regulation hampers decision-making and entrepreneurship.

Accountants and business advisors BDO have released the latest in a series of reports, Transition to a New Regulatory Environment, looking into the balance between fostering and hampering growth through regulation. The findings indicate that businesses feel the rules have become overly complex, leading to red-tape regimes which shackle sound businesses and subdue entrepreneurial flair.

Ian Beaumont, lead partner at BDO’s Leeds office, recognises the need for a regulatory environment, but urges caution.

“Regulation that is based on a requirement for ethical behaviour and principles but which is easy to operate, can encourage transparency and market growth,” he says.

“It is in no-one’s best interest to interfere in the operation of the market, save to do what is necessary to produce a competitive environment and protect consumers adequately.”

The report indicates that firms want regulation that protects, but doesn’t prevent business progress.  Regulation built on a principles-based approach does not necessarily mean ‘light touch’ regulation.  Principles need to be enforced, perhaps even more so than rules. 

However, with so many vested interests in the regulation ‘industry’, and with competing regulators, it is critical that those with a stake in the issue make their voices heard and demand the type of regulation that will foster enterprise, whilst protecting against dishonesty and genuine conflict of interest.

Over the course of this week, will be taking an in-depth look at the latest Transitions report and the challenges and opportunities for businesses from the trends it identifies.

The features will be available to read all week in our supplements channel and our readers can also download the report in full here.