THERE HAS BEEN an encouraging improvement in the levels and coherence of corporate reporting, according to a report by Deloitte.
The report found that businesses have embraced corporate reporting changes overall, but are severely lacking in some areas.
According to Deloitte, only one company disclosed information on the gender pay gap and just seven referred to gender diversity policies and targets.
Certain gender diversity disclosures are set to become mandatory in the near future and will require companies to provide more information than they currently do.
There is a similar situation in relation to carbon disclosure. While 63% of respondents made an effort to voluntarily disclose emissions, only 3% made it clear how they based their measures in line with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs corporate reporting guidance.
"A whole raft of initiatives, some voluntary, some mandatory, have come into force or are about to do so shortly," said Veronica Poole, Deloitte's national head of accounting and corporate reporting. "The overall thrust is to encourage companies to provide more consistent and connected reporting with an emphasis on narrative and their business model."
Despite the impending arrival of new audit committee disclosure requirements in the latest corporate governance code update, only 16% of organisations provided insightful, company-specific analysis of significant issues considered by the audit committee.
"Companies need to be better at connected reporting. The proposals and rules which companies now face require a serious level of content, cohesion, connected thought and information. The regulatory bar is set higher every year and users' demands are rising steeply," Poole said.
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