Confidence in the future - Reporting reboot

Corporate reporting is in need of a reboot. Savvy companies are recognising and responding to the emerging challenges of a new technology-enabled environment and are preparing to play an altogether changed game. What should companies do now to ensure they are fit for the challenges ahead? And what can be done to move us all towards a technology-enabled corporate reporting model that is relevant for stakeholders and their changing behaviours?

A vision for the future of reporting

Technology is disrupting every walk of life. Yet until recently, the traditional reporting model seemed relatively immune. Much discussion around the future of reporting assumed the traditional flow of information from company to user, and focused on what companies report and to whom, rather than when and in what format.

But with emerging technologies – machine learning, AI and blockchain to name a few – influencing how companies operate and communicate, corporate reporting needs to modernise and recognise how information is sourced, consumed and analysed in the 21st century.

This paper sets out our vision for the future of reporting, and aims to help companies take action now so when change does happen, they’re positioned to take advantage.

“Today’s reporting model needs to modernise and recognise how information is sourced, consumed and analysed in the 21st century."

Mark O’Sullivan, Head of Corporate reporting at PwC UK
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Technological transformation

Most of the technologies that will transform the reporting model already exist, but their impact has yet to be fully felt. Even those that have begun to mature, such as social media platforms, corporate websites, digital financial reports and searchable company data, still have the potential to develop and further enrich the dialogue between companies and their stakeholders.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) will power many of the developments that enable external users to harness data and companies to rapidly and accurately compile reports. While machine readable annual reports are not routinely prepared by AI today, once they become more mainstream, the possibilities for creating and increasing data rapidly multiply.

 

Bringing data to life

Data visualisation will be enhanced by virtual and augmented reality environments and used to transform corporate reporting and help companies communicate strategy and performance.

Building trust

Blockchain could have profound implications for today’s reporting model and the way transactions are recorded and information shared between parties. Because a digital distributed ledger effectively ties all of the databases involved in a transaction together, each transaction is visible to all parties concerned. If blockchain were integrated with reporting processes, companies could provide as much evidence as they felt was needed to build trust in the figures that they disclose.

Contact us

Mark O'Sullivan
Head of Corporate Reporting, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7804 3459
Email

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