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 and returns.
The CSR/sustainability emphasis in contrast is on the long term, effecting change, on holistic impact (sometimes not as measurable). The audience is multiple stakeholders interested in a broad range of topics. Some topics are business related, but some not. Some are consistent with delivering long, or even short term returns, but some are in conflict.
How to reconcile these ?