Integrated reporting – telling a company’s entire story, not just the positives

Insights into integrated reporting 3.0: The drive for authenticity report from ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) identifies importance of integrated reporting, and the barriers it faces.

ACCA’s third annual integrated reporting study reveals how 10 out of 48 companies profiled around the world strive for authenticity in their integrated reports, and how the financial sector is leading the global adoption of integrated reporting.

The purpose quality of integrated reporting is to make information available to investors and other stakeholders to enable a more efficient and productive allocation of capital - focusing on value creation, and the different resources used and affected by the business to create value over time.

Compared to previous years, this year’s study reveals integrated reports are becoming more concise and include advanced assurance, however concerns were raised that positive performances were reported more prominently than negative performance.

Yen-Pei Chen, corporate reporting manager, says the research highlights the importance of authenticity – which includes presenting information in a balanced way without bias, reporting in a transparent way about missed performance targets and future challenges, and providing a complete picture of how an organisation creates value over time.

She said: ‘There is often a reluctance among executives to make claims that are too ambitious before the desired levels of performance have been achieved. However, in these times of low corporate trust, authenticity - being honest about the organisation's mistakes and challenges - is increasingly important for the credibility of integrated reports.

‘This report presents good practice ideas and excerpts from ten integrated reports which have demonstrated authenticity in different ways. I hope that these help to drive further improvements in integrated reporting and thinking around the world.’

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has developed the International Integrated Reporting Framework for companies across the world to adopt integrated reporting.

Richard Howitt, chief executive of the IIRC, said: ‘Every year I am inspired by the innovation and leadership displayed by the participants of the integrated reporting business network as they push the development and effectiveness of their reporting to the next level. 

‘Reporting practice is by no means perfect and we have a long way to go - as some of the areas highlighted for improvement in this research from ACCA demonstrate. However, I am confident that we are travelling in the right direction.

‘My thanks go to ACCA for their support in the IIRC's report critique project to enable us to understand how reporting is developing, so we know better the role we can play in helping integrated reporting take hold.’


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Notes to Editors


About Insights into Integrated Reporting 3.0

The Insights into Integrated Reporting 3.0 is the third in a series of reports published by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) drawing together a review of 48 corporate reports produced by member organisations in the IIRC’s (the International Integrated Reporting Council) <IR> Business Network – performed in 2019 in collaboration with the IIRC – with interviews with 10 integrated reporters around the world.


About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering 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.

ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 503,000 students in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 104 offices and centres and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: