03 October 2015

Integrated Reporting

In our Corporate Reporting Insights 2014, we set out the key aspects of the integrated reporting framework proposed by the Integrated International Reporting Council (IIRC) in its consultation draft International Integrated Reporting Framework (Consultation Draft) issued in April 2013.

Readers may recall that the IIRC identified six key interdependent assets or ‘capitals’ – financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social, and natural – that drive value creation in the short, medium and long term. The IIRC then laid out a series of seven main elements that interconnect to form a picture of the company.

It is clear that while on the surface it appears that there has not been much further progress on integrated reporting in Australia during 2014, robust debate has continued regarding the merits of integrated reporting and the perceived impediments to its eventual implementation.

For example, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) replied to the IIRC Consultation Draft in July 2013, commending the IIRC on the development of the Draft, but urging it to continue working to reduce the reporting burden on organisations and further develop the framework.

The AICD summarised its major main concerns with the framework as:

  • concern for the potential personal liability of directors for disclosures within an integrated report
  • the ability to provide detailed forward looking information may be impacted by the varying regulatory environments across the world related to the treatment of future orientated information
  • disclosures within an integrated report may become compliance driven and overly prescriptive and difficult to implement.

It is unclear if and when integrated reporting will be mandated in Australia, despite some companies having already successfully implemented it.

Regardless of the timing of its introduction, the additional reporting will mean that companies must be more diligent than ever in developing their strategic messages and, as we outlined in our Investor Brand article bringing those together in a cohesive and understandable story.

In fact, ‘corporate storytelling’ was recognised as an important issue at a recent IIRC meeting in Istanbul in a session entitled ‘Integrated Reporting and Value Creation’. Integrated Reporting was described as a tool to help to help organisations explain how they create value.