Keeping Shareholders at Arms Length

I participated virtually in the Green Monday conference this week and had pause for thought after hearing each of the panelists respond to a question about the impact of shareholders on sustainability.

Andrew Shapiro of Green Order mentioned the mission driven nature of Facebook.  That mission will be maintained in public ownership partly through the class A shares on the market having lower voting power than the class B shares held by a much smaller block of existing shareholders.

Karen Hamilton of Unilever described CEO Paul Polman’s action to cease providing quarterly earnings forecasts because he didn’t see the short …

read more

Guest Post: An Accountant’s Perspective on Integrated Reporting

 
 

 

To finish this short series I was looking for an alternative perspective on IR. I met Stathis Gould in New York at the CR Commit Forum 2011. Stathis works at the International Federation of Accountants on supporting professional accountants working in business, and is passionate about corporate responsibility.  He has also been pulling together the IFAC Accountants in Business response to the IIRC discussion paper available here. I enjoyed hearing his views from an managerial accountants’ perspective and we have met since to discuss integrated reporting from our different vantage points.   He kindly agreed to contribute

read more

Integrated Reporting – IIRC Approach

This is the second post in series on integrated reporting

The recent discussion paper from the International Integrated Reporting Committee  (IIRC) for which comments were due on December 14th 2011 worries me. It starts with some statements with which I wholeheartedly agree…

“Integrated Reporting brings together material information about an organization’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects in a way that reflects the commercial, social and environmental context within which it operates. It provides a clear and concise representation of how an organization demonstrates stewardship and how it creates and sustains value.”

 “Integrated Reports will meet the needs of a …

read more

Integrated Reporting – One Report or Many ?

This is the third post in a series on integrated reporting.

Does integrated reporting means a single report, or does it mean multiple reports ?

At BT, our annual sustainability report consists of a comprehensive online report of hundreds of pages of text and data supplemented by a summary PDF of about 20 pages.  Our Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) is an interactive PDF of text and data of about 180 pages.  Both our reports are externally audited.

Does integration mean combining all this into one report, or does it mean creating an integration between the content in each.

Interestingly,  …

read more

Integrated Reporting – The Challenge

I am interested in the concept of integrated reporting and am often asked about it at during the Q&A at conferences.   I hear many different perspectives of what exactly it is.

I think that by far the biggest challenge is going to be reconciling  the approach of the financial reporting community with the approach of the CSR/sustainability community.

The financial reporting community produces highly compliance-based reports. Compliance which in my view incentivizes a low risk, play it safe, measurement oriented, audit heavy approach. The material is laser focused on the shareholder audience interested primarily in near term measurable share value …

read more