Private businesses demonstrate a clear commitment to open and honest reporting

19 April 2018

Insights from PwC’s Building Public Trust Awards 2017:  Excellence in Reporting in Private Business by Suzi Woolfson, PwC Partner

Privately-owned businesses are subject to less stringent regulation of their corporate reporting than their counterparts listed on public stock exchanges. In general, this means they usually disclose less. However, the upside is that when they do disclose information, it’s because they want to – and are positively aiming to build trust.

Assessing the reporting from private businesses is made more complex by the vast number and the diversity of businesses in this category. To target our screening, we reviewed the reporting from the Sunday Times “Top Track 100” ranking of UK private businesses, and supplemented this with an assessment of the UK’s largest co-operatives and mutuals. Throughout, we focused particularly on how organisations measure and report their societal contribution and impact.

This process resulted in a shortlist of three very different businesses, but each exhibiting common strengths. One was a clear articulation of their purpose and the societal needs they hope to address, as well as their forward-looking strategy, governance, and key market trends. Another common trait was good reporting on their supply chain impacts, both up and down-stream. And they all demonstrated a clear commitment to open and honest reporting, including being frank about areas where they could have done better.

In short, our assessment shows the best reporting by private businesses bears comparison with that in the listed sector. To find out what the leaders are doing right, please click through to read the judges’ comments.

And if you’d like feedback on how your private business scored in this year’s assessment, please feel free to get in touch by sending an email to [email protected]

Suzi Woolfson

Suzi Woolfson | UK Private Business Leader
Profile | Email | +44 (0)20 7213 5030



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