How does your reporting measure up?

18 November 2013

Companies in many jurisdictions face challenging new reporting requirements this year. Here in the UK, there are requirements for a new ‘strategic report’, new remuneration rules, and new governance requirements with the FRC’s ‘fair, balanced and understandable’ rule.

Added to that, the pressure on companies to communicate effectively with stakeholders is stronger than ever – because rapidly changing economic, social and environmental dynamics can so easily undermine confidence in companies’ ability to navigate the pitfalls successfully.

If you are preparing for new requirements, that additional work may be looming large. But we’ve been talking to many companies who also see it as an opportunity to look at their reporting with fresh eyes.

Some are identifying relatively ‘quick wins’ to make their business better understood. Others are going back to the drawing board to reconsider how they create and communicate value and how this can improve the quality of information for their business decisions; and the quality of their relationships with investors, regulators and the wider market.

After all, if business performance and prospects aren’t clear in company reporting, it can dent your company’s reputation and affect access to capital, credit and talent.

With that in mind, I thought you’d be interested in our recent reporting survey – Communicating performance and prospects. It analyses leading UK listed company reporting and highlights what’s working well and where there’s room for improvement.

Key areas of business are well communicated and have improved in recent years, but there are also areas where many have work to do to report clearly and meet stakeholder expectations.

For example, 99% of FTSE 100 companies include strategic priorities in their reporting, but only 34% integrated reporting on strategy with the rest of the report.

And although 94% include the term ‘business model’ in their reporting, only 11% make clear links between their business model and other aspects of their reporting.

You can take a look at the survey with the full results here. It also includes 12 practical tips for improving reporting, investor insights and examples of what good reporting looks like.

Let me know if you find them useful. And if you’d like specific feedback on your organisation’s reporting, benchmarked against your peers, I’m happy to help.

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