Investors’ views of integrated reporting have been captured in a new ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) report, South African institutional investors’ perceptions of integrated reporting.
The report, written by Professor Jill Atkins and Dr Warren Maroun, however, highlights areas where improvements should be made, along with potential obstacles to better reports. The 20 members of the South African institutional investment community interviewed called for reports to be shorter and less complex and for repetition and a box-ticking compliance approach to be avoided. Also, corporate boards should be more involved in the production of integrated reports and an explicit integrated reporting framework should be developed to assist preparers.
They also saw a number of potential obstacles to improved reporting. The investors said that there was a need to avoid domination of the agenda by auditors and reporting consultants; to prevent the introduction of misleading bias by corporate report preparers and to address a lack of financial literacy among trustees of pension funds.
Encouragingly, investors believed risk information is a core element of integrated reporting. It encourages holistic governance and broader stakeholder accountability and contributes to more forward looking reporting.
The investors made a number of recommendations for improving integrated reporting. These include companies engaging more with their institutional investors and non-financial stakeholders on the content of their integrated reports, with integrated reporting focusing more on broader accountability to all stakeholders – reflecting a more holistic approach to reporting. Companies should also facilitate continuing financial education for their employees.
Professor Jill Atkins said: 'This report provides the first substantial survey of South African institutional investors' reactions to the introduction of integrated reporting, revealing strong support for this new accounting framework: information on users' needs is critically important to the development of the integrated reporting agenda.'
Rachel Jackson, Head of Sustainability at ACCA, said: 'The introduction of integrated reporting in South Africa presents a significant opportunity for companies to start publishing more concise, connected, and future looking information. Investors must seize this moment to get the information they require for better decision making. The ACCA report goes some way to achieving that and hopes the findings will help those policy makers and framework providers to achieve a better report both for the company and the investor.'
View the full report via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article.
For further information, please contact:
Colin Davis, ACCA Newsroom
tel: + 44 (0) 207 059 5738
mob: +44 (0) 7720 347713
Notes to Editors
- ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
- We support our 170,000 members and 436,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of 91 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
- Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.