Confusion reigns over integrated reporting

by Richard Crump

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11 Jun 2012

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THE WORLD'S FIRST integrated reporting framework is to be published by the end of 2013, although there is still confusion as to what integrated reporting is.

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) confirmed plans to publish the framework at the end of next year as it released a summary of responses to its discussion paper launched in September 2011.

Responses to the paper, Towards Integrated Reporting – Communicating Value in the 21st Century, which called for user-friendly documents that clearly demonstrate links between organisations' financial performance and their social, environmental and economic backdrop, demonstrated overwhelming stakeholder support for developing the framework, the IIRC said.

However, the responses identified four significant areas that need to be addressed before the framework can be developed, including clarifying the target audience for integrated reporting, the timing of the release of the framework and addressing the definition of integrated reporting.

"There is a diversity of views, and even a degree of confusion, about the definition of integrated reporting; about what integrated reporting is, or is intended to become; and how integrated reporting should relate to existing reporting strands," the IIRC report said.

"It is right that companies' communication with investors and other stakeholders reflects the full range of factors that contribute to the creation of sustainable value," said Paul Druckman, IIRC chief executive officer.

A total of 214 responses to the discussion paper from organisations and individuals in more than 30 countries were received.

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