ACCA Principles for Connected Corporate Reporting

Good quality reporting should cover a wide range of value drivers for organisations, beyond financial performance and position but equally beyond environmental or social impact. This includes intangibles not recognised on the balance sheet, such as innovative processes, know-how and corporate culture.

Businesses, society and the planet depend on each other. The way each organisation manages its key resources and relationships affects the value that it generates for economies, societies and nature. Conversely, organisations’ external impacts can ultimately affect its ability to create value for itself.

Corporate reporting standards should highlight the interactions between the value that organisations create for themselves, and the impact that they have on society and planet.

The information needs of investors often correspond with those of other stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, communities and policy-makers. A report that follows a robust and forward-looking approach to reporting will likely address an organisation’s most significant impacts on the economy, environment and people.

ACCA calls on policy-makers, regulators and standard-setters to:

  • develop requirements for reporting outside of the financial statements that is coherent and connects with financial reporting requirements
  • cooperate multilaterally to ensure that reporting requirements are consistent and interoperable across borders
  • align requirements with the global standards produced by the IFRS Foundation and the International <IR> Framework
  • base requirements on common definitions for key terms, including ‘sustainability,’ ‘sustainability reporting,’ and ‘enterprise value’
  • consider the cost and benefits in mandating reporting requirements and avoid disclosure overload
  • develop consistent voluntary simplified reporting standard for SMEs.
  • leverage technology but without losing sight of the context of companies’ governance, strategy, and business model
  • connect reporting requirements with other policy levers to ensure that business resources are not focused on reporting compliance but on transforming business models for a just and green transition.

In developing this policy paper, ACCA held a Chatham House expert roundtable and consulted with members of our Global Forums for Corporate Reporting, Sustainability, and Governance, Risk and Performance. Our thanks go to everyone who provided their valuable views and advice