It has always been a source of pride to me that ACCA has been at the forefront of developments within the accountancy profession – the move to ensuring that our syllabus was based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) being just one.
Now ACCA is once again demonstrating its pioneering credentials by not only being one of the first adopters of integrated reporting (IR) – having produced our most recent annual report to IR principles – but also by calling for the business community, companies and investors alike to ensure they help shape the future of IR.
We have urged these groups to respond to the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) consultation draft on an integrated reporting framework to help develop a new corporate reporting model. This will enable organisations to communicate their activities more effectively and provide clear information to stakeholders.
ACCA, as a committed member of the IIRC, believes that responding to the draft is important, so that any resulting reporting framework reflects the needs of an increasingly complex and demanding global market.
In my meetings with members, employers and tuition providers, many have commented favourably on our first annual report produced along IR lines – which enabled our stakeholders to see the bigger picture brought together in what is hopefully an easily digested document. Our next report will be another step along the IR route.
But this initiative is not only an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and innovation in the accountancy profession.
It is also critical that those you advise play their part in helping to shape the future of integrated reporting, by looking at issues and challenges which can be addressed now and which ensure that the IIRC gets the full picture.
You have a critical role to play, and I urge you and your companies to engage in the consultation process.
Professor Barry J Cooper is head of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance at Deakin University, Australia