Corporate Reporting – Executives shun non-financial data

Investors and analysts remain uninterested in non-financial information despite the best efforts of the accountancy profession on how to report and audit it.

ACCA and the New Economics Foundation this week unveiled a new ‘scorecard’ approach to measuring the quality of social, ethical and environmental reports.

But a MORI poll commissioned by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed senior executives were far less interested in environmental compliance (24%) than in bread-and-butter financial information such as earnings (95%) and cashflow (85%).

Analysts and investors were even less interested, while social and ethical issues did not register in the survey.

ACCA’s study, ‘Making Values Count’, aimed to establish a common approach to so-called ‘triple bottom-line’ reports, said director of technical services Roger Adams.

It proposes a balanced scorecard-style quality framework based around eight factors, including completeness, comparability, regularity and external verification.

‘The authors examined the Accounting Standards Board and international frameworks for corporate reporting and moved them sideways from the objective, quantifiable side of financial reporting to cover less tangible issues,’ he said.

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