FTSE 350 corporate reporting trends in 2018
30% of companies
have a purpose focused on their stakeholders
45% of companies
set out a relevant period in their strategic discussion
37% of companies
fail to make any link between their strategy and other elements of the report
30% of companies
talk about stakeholder outcomes in the business model
Technological advances are already improving the quantity and quality of information available to stakeholders, and it’s inevitable that they’ll disrupt and transform not just what is reported but the entire reporting system – including the annual report. But our view is that in today’s world, the annual report, and more importantly the information it presents, plays an important role as part of the suite of information that companies produce. This year we decided to test that view on a number of leading commentators, drawn from companies, investors and regulators – and you can view their comments on both the annual report, and other reporting topics throughout this year’s report.
Below you’ll find the key areas of insight we’ve identified as current and emerging FTSE 350 reporting practices, along with top tips to improve the quality of reporting.
There’s undoubtedly been a growing recognition of stakeholders in reports whether in the identification of key stakeholders and acknowledgement of their importance, presentation of business models, or in the statement of a clear purpose. Yet, while there have been a small number of examples of good reporting from companies willing and able to get ahead of what will be required in a couple of years’ time, overall we were left with the feeling that the market in general still has a lot to do.
“In over 15 years of performing such a review I cannot remember one where the governance and reporting agenda has been dominated by just a single topic – stakeholders – almost at the expense of all others. Whilst companies have grappled with a changing reporting landscape, which is only just settling into place, it has been fascinating to see who would be the first to embrace this change. So while this survey reflects on what we saw in the 2017–18 reporting season it does so very much with an eye to the future.”