Date posted: 13/09/2021 3 min read

Australian and New Zealand investors are feeling more confident

After 2020's COVID-19 dip, CA ANZ's third annual investor confidence survey shows a recovery in investor confidence in 2021.

In Brief

  • Investor confidence in AU and NZ is recovering after dipping in 2020
  • Independent auditors are still the one of the groups retail investors trust most
  • Investors are interested in information on sustainability but would trust it more if it was audited

Retail investors have more confidence in the audited financial reports produced by public companies than they did last year, according to a survey of Australian and New Zealand retail investors. 

For a third year, independent auditors remain the most trusted group when it comes to stakeholders that advance investor protection, followed by others such as regulators, analysts, audit committees and stock exchanges. 

The survey by CA ANZ, with help from the Center for Audit Quality in the United States, was commissioned to find out how retail investors felt about capital markets and public companies; issues such as climate change; and who they trust to protect their interests because it's vital that they're confident for markets and economies to thrive.

The 2020 survey showed a dip in confidence due to the impacts of COVID-19, particularly when it came to confidence in local and global capital markets. However, we are pleased to see this confidence has bounced back in 2021. 

It's clear to us that auditors, along with all the stakeholders who ensure the integrity of our markets, will continue to play a vital role in growing and maintaining investor confidence, as the world navigates its recovery from the pandemic and addresses the other big challenges we face.

But it's still important to understand how investors’ views have shifted on various aspects of financial reports and markets as we continue to deal with the pandemic and beyond.

Investors still expect companies to be transparent about the impacts of the pandemic, with just under 50% of investors in both countries still wanting "quite a bit" to a "great deal" of extra disclosures. 

When it comes to climate change and sustainability reporting, investors told us they find this information important but they're currently getting it from multiple sources. Their confidence would increase if the information presented by companies was prepared in accordance with agreed standards and subject to assurance. 

As the challenges we face grow in complexity, it's clear that financial reporting and audit are vital. At CA ANZ, we continue to advocate for robust and evolving standards and for our profession to strive to evolve to protect the public interest.

We hope the research will continue to provide useful insights to inform discussions that are happening around financial reporting, climate change reporting and auditing. 

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Read more about the survey in an exclusive article in the Australian Financial Review (paywall)

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Read more about the survey in the New Zealand Herald (paywall)

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