HANDS UP WHO WANTS TO DO THE INTEGRATED REPORT THIS YEAR?
Integrated reporting comes but once a year (for most). For some that’s a dreaded period of ‘where do I start’ but a necessary evil. It reared its head in 2010 and has become a broad-based framework for business and investment decisions that are long-term, inclusive and with purpose.
South Africa is right up there with the best in the world when it comes to adopting integrated reporting over conventional stock-standard annual reports. We’re ahead of the US in terms of voluntary publishing of IR and adopting corporate governance codes. In fact the International Integrated Reporting Council only recently published their first integrated report.
The reason why word-wide adoption is slow (27% increase since 2015 according to KPMG) is probably because it seems like a mammoth task. It was so much easier to just report on financial figures, put it in a glossy book, give it to stakeholders with a cup of tea and send them on their way.
Integrated reporting needn’t be a headache. Put up your hand this year by following a few basic guidelines.
Make sure your report is cohesive
Ask the most important question: How does your organisation create value over time?
This will result in bigger picture reporting and not a bitty mess.
Go the distance on good governance
Make sure you are compliant and tick the boxes where they apply to you.
Choose an excellent writer
Don’t leave it up to the company secretary, or John in accounts’ sister.
If you keep it internal make sure they understand the brief and that they know how to write for an integrated report.
Know what to leave out
More isn’t more. The trend is to not throw in everything but to only include what is relevant and to leave out what doesn’t add to the bigger picture, if not required by your stakeholders.
Workshop the theme
With the team that counts. Include the project manager, writers and agency. Blue Apple offers free integrated reporting half-day workshops for their clients.