Integrated Reporting at the Crossroads: Will it Become Trendsetter Model for the Corporate Reporting

Author(s)

Dr. Madan Lal Bhasin ,

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Volume 6 - February 2017 (02)

Abstract

The landscape of corporate reporting is changing quickly. The concepts, elements and principles that characterize the way organizations plan, manage and report their annual performances are currently being questioned, debated, and redesigned throughout the world. However, widening the scope of corporate performance and reporting is a major issue. Interest in and adoption of IR regarding a company’s financial, environmental, social, and governance performance is growing rapidly. Research needs to bridge the gap between social and financial performance by considering corporate performance in a wider perspective. At base, IR is a relatively new but powerful idea: enhancing the way organizations think, plan and report the story of their business. Organizations are using IR to communicate a clear, concise, integrated story that explains how all of their resources are creating value. IR is helping businesses to think holistically about their strategy and plans, make informed decisions and manage key risks to build investor and stakeholder confidence and improve future performance. It is shaped by a diverse coalition including business leaders and investors to drive a global evolution in corporate reporting. This paper examines the rise of what has been widely claimed to represent a new and striking future for corporate reporting, namely the notion of 'Integrated Reporting' (IR). Unfortunately, there is poor empirical research work undertaken which has focused on published integrated reports. This research study provides initial analysis of the content and structure of the corporate integrated reports published in 2013 and available on the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Emerging Examples Database. As part of this study, Integrated Reports were analyzed for company information, report information and report content. Moreover, they were also evaluated as to the extent these adhered to the integrated reporting (IR) Guiding Principles, Content Elements, and the multiple capitals model. Findings of this study indicate that “early integrated reports were mostly lengthy, fail to adhere to all the guiding principles, and covered four of the six capitals suggested.” At present, no universally accepted global framework for IR exists and it is still largely a voluntary practice. We believe that IR of both financial and nonfinancial performance should be made mandatory, and it should become a universal practice for all the global listed companies within the next 5-10 years. 

Keywords

Integrated Reporting, trendsetter model, corporate reporting, IIRC, reporting framework, guiding principles, content elements, multiple capitals models.

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