Investors’ views on South African integrated reporting highlight some concerns and make calls for improvements | ACCA Global
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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
—Rachel Jackson, head of sustainability, ACCA

Interviews with SA investment community yield key findings for policy makers and the integrated reporting agenda

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.

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For further information, please contact:

Colin Davis, ACCA Newsroom
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colin.davis@accaglobal.com

Notes to Editors

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