‘Excellence in reporting’ changes gear in 2013 awards

04 October 2013

Our Building Public Trust Awards dinner is one of my favourite times of year. PwC spends a great deal of time working with companies, public sector organisation, investors, and other stakeholders to understand market needs and review how effectively these are met by current reporting and communications.

A great many organisations commit huge resources and a lot of valuable time to provide the right information and messages in their corporate reporting.

It’s a night of recognition and reward for excellence in reporting, and it’s good to see a variety of faces at the table, old and new. Over 400 FTSE 350 board members and senior public sector people were in attendance last night, and it was a pleasure to speak with as many as I did.

It’s something we keep coming back to – the need to build public trust. It’s not because companies are ignoring the agenda – far from it – but because trust isn’t one-dimensional. To retain it,
companies have to be responsive to stakeholder demands. That doesn’t mean that when someone says ‘jump’ the Board replies ‘how high?’, but rather that companies carefully consider what might give investors, regulators and the man on the Clapham omnibus confidence about the current performance of the business, it’s impact on all stakeholders (economic, social and environmental)
and its future prospects.

Fierce scrutiny

Our Chairman, Ian Powell pointed out in his speech last night that the largest companies inevitably bear the brunt of scrutiny in harder times. And that’s fine. Many continue to make a profit at a time when real wages are falling and prices are rising. So it’s important that they
explain how they are bucking that trend – if they are – and how they’re adding value across the areas they operate in.

The winners of last night’s awards in the FTSE 100, FTSE 250, Integrated reporting and the public sector – are really meeting the reporting challenge head-on. They are taking the new regulations in
their stride and in some cases early-adopting. All the shortlisted companies  –  are pushing the boundaries,
experimenting, innovating and coming up with clearer, shorter reports. Some close decisions at the judging day made clear that this year, more companies are reporting better, and the gap between the best and the rest is narrowing.

Winners of the Building public trust ‘Excellence in reporting’ awards 2013

Anglo American – FTSE 100

The Go-Ahead Group – FTSE 250

The Crown Estate – Public sector (jointly awarded by PwC and the National Audit Office)

Gold Fields (South Africa) – Overseas award: towards integrated reporting

Congratulations again to those winners and the runners up (see full information here). I encourage you to take a look at the annual reports of the shortlisted organisations – there are some excellent examples of what effective reporting looks like. You can request further good practice examples that we have recently identified, by emailing: info@corporatereporting.com.

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