Change in corporate reporting does not usually happen quickly. We did not, therefore, go into this year’s survey expecting to see annual reports that were significantly different from last year’s – and what we saw bore this out.
This year, we have identified three ongoing fundamental reporting challenges that companies should consider in order to ensure that their reporting better meets the needs and expectations of investors and other stakeholders.
Companies have adopted good practices and improved the breadth and presentation of their reporting, but not always the depth and quality of the information reported.
We are seeing reports that are looking better and that have many of the key components of good practice, but it is often difficult to truly tell them apart. How distinctive is your reporting?
We think that the introduction of the strategic report in 2013 has had some positive effects but our research leads us to question just how strategic most strategic reports really are if strategy is not at the centre of how many companies tell their story.
Investors and CEOs tell us that business success will increasingly be defined by more than just financial profit, and long term success will, in part, be determined by understanding and meeting the needs of wider stakeholders. In response, companies will need to go beyond financial metrics and ensure they meet the needs of wider stakeholders to remain a sound investment case.
Mark O’Sullivan PwC, Head of Corporate Reporting