In Search of High Quality Financial Reporting Narratives: Concepts, Evidence & Methods

Jul 01, 2019
London, United Kingdom
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In Search of High Quality Financial Reporting Narratives: Concepts, Evidence & Methods

The Work Foundation, London SW1H 0AD

Monday, 1 July 2019


Text constitutes the majority of content disclosed by companies during their annual reporting cycle. Growth in the volume of unstructured (textual) data is creating demand for technological solutions to assist the task of processing content and extracting meaning from financial reports. Academic researchers in accounting are also turning to methods from computer science and computational linguistics to study the properties and consequences of high quality narrative reporting.

This one-day workshop unites accounting researchers, financial market professionals, and experts in textual analysis with the goal of sharing views on the properties of high quality annual report narratives and the methods for analysing them. Enhanced practical understanding of the features shaping narrative reporting quality is critical for academic researchers interested in studying the phenomenon. Similarly, cutting-edge research in accounting affords insights into the text processing opportunities available to financial market professionals. Finally, both accounting researchers and professionals require guidance from linguistics and computer scientists on the practicalities of analysing text.     

The workshop programme comprises a novel combination of practice-focused sessions, research summaries, and introductions to aspects of natural language processing (NLP) and corpus linguistics for those new to the area. The workshop is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, Lancaster University Management School, and the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science.

Workshop programme


  • Practitioner views on high quality annual reporting
  • Academic evidence on the properties of award-winning annual reports and the effectiveness of automated procedures for measuring sentiment and attribution in earnings announcements  
  • Panel session on emerging issues in narrative reporting
  • Review of research methods in corpus linguistics and machine learning


  • Sallie Pilot (Chief Insight and Engagement Officer, Black Sun Plc)
  • Phil Fitz-Gerald (Director of the Financial Reporting Lab, Financial Reporting Council)
  • Mark O'Sullivan (Head of Corporate Reporting, PwC)
  • Dr Eddie Bell (Head of Machine Learning, Ravelin)
  • Dr Vaclav Brezina (ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science)
  • Prof Martin Walker (Alliance Manchester Business School)
  • Prof Steven Young (Lancaster University Management School)

Full programme details are available at Sessions are designed to appeal to academic researchers and financial market professionals alike.  

Further details

The Work Foundation is conveniently located next to St James’s Park tube station. Registration on 1 July opens at 10.00, with the first session scheduled to start at 10.30. The event will end at 16.15. Lunch is provided and the event is free to attend. Places are limited and pre-registration is required via Places will be allocated on a first come-first served basis.

Please contact Prof Steven Young ( if you require further information.


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