Independent auditor's report to the members of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

We have audited the accounts of the CBI for the year ended 31 December 2016 which comprise the Income Statement, Statement of Comprehensive Income, the Statement of Financial Position, the Statement of Cash Flows and the related notes. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice), including FRS 102, the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

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Respective responsibilities of members of the CBI board and auditor

As explained more fully in the statement of responsibilities in relation to the accounts, the board members are responsible for the preparation of the accounts and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view. Our responsibility is to audit and express an opinion on the accounts in accordance with applicable law and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). Those standards require us to comply with the Auditing Practices Board's (APB's) Ethical Standards for Auditors.

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Scope of the audit of the accounts

An audit involves obtaining evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the accounts sufficient to give reasonable assurance that the accounts are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or error. This includes an assessment of: whether the accounting policies are appropriate to CBI's circumstances and have been consistently applied and adequately disclosed; the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by the members of the CBI board; and the overall presentation of the accounts. In addition, we read all the financial and non-financial information in the annual report to identify material inconsistencies with the audited accounts and to identify any information that is apparently materially incorrect based on, or materially inconsistent with, the knowledge acquired by us in the course of performing the audit. If we become aware of any apparent material misstatements or inconsistencies we consider the implications for our report.

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Opinion on accounts

In our opinion the accounts:

    • Give a true and fair view of the state of CBI's affairs as at 31 December 2016 and of its loss for the year then ended; and
    • have been properly prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice.
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Our assessment of risks of material misstatement

We identified the following risks of material misstatement that had the greatest effect on our audit strategy, allocation of resources in the audit and directing the efforts of the audit team:

    • Going concern: The accounts may be prepared on a going concern basis when this is not appropriate if the CBI is not able to continue in business for at least 12 months from the date the accounts are approved
    • Defined benefit plan: The assumptions used to calculate the value of assets and liabilities in the defined benefit pension plan may not be appropriate
    • Recognition of income and expenditure: The timing of revenue recognition may be incorrect or revenue recognised may be incomplete, particularly in relation to members' prepaid subscriptions and amounts included within deferred income. Staff costs may be misstated, which, as a significant proportion of the CBI's expenditure, may result in the accounts being materially misstated.
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Our application of materiality

The concept of materiality was applied in planning and performing our audit. The threshold at which we consider an amount as being material to the accounts as a whole was set at £238,000. This is based on the amount of total income recognised in the Income Statement for the year ended 31 December 2016. We report individual unadjusted differences on the accounts over £11,900 to the Audit Committee. Materiality is used as guidance for the audit team in exercising judgement over their approach to audit testing and interpretation of the results. The level of materiality should not be interpreted as an absolute limit but as a guide to values that may be considered to have an impact on the view given by the accounts.

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An overview of the scope of our audit

Our audit focused on the risks of material misstatement as identified above. Our audit work on revenue recognition focused on the different revenue streams received by CBI, including members' subscriptions, commercial activities and project income. We obtained evidence that the total staff costs were in accordance with expectations and that employees joining and leaving during the year had been correctly accounted for. We obtained evidence that the recognition and disclosures made in respect of the CBI's defined benefit pension plan were in accordance with financial reporting standards and that the assumptions used by the actuary in calculating the value of assets and liabilities in relation to the pension plan were reasonable.

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Matters on which we are required to report by exception

We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters where we are required to report to you if, in our opinion:

  • The part of the Corporate Governance Statement relating to CBI's compliance with the nine provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code specified for our review does not comply with the UK Corporate Governance Code;
  • The information given in the annual report is inconsistent in any material respect with the accounts;
  • There are material omissions or matters to draw attention to in the assessment of principal risks facing CBI in the annual report.

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Buzzacott LLP
130 Wood Street

11 April 2017

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