Annual reports double in size over ten years

Increased regulation, IFRS and a greater focus on employee and environmental
matters have seen the length of annual reports double over the last ten years, a
study by Deloitte has found.

The firm conducted a review of the annual reports of listed companies and
found that the length of reports had increased from 45 pages to 85 pages. The
number of operating and financial reviews, however, had decreased from 41% to
20% over the past year.

The increase in length of annual reports is a consequence of financial
statements lengthening to cope with IFRS. ‘The halving of the number of formal
OFRs seems dramatic, but does not mean that the information content is reduced,’
said Deloitte audit partner Isobel Sharp.

Sharp said companies were dropping the formal OFR name to ensure that they
were not forced to follow a particular framework.

The fact that discussions of employee matters and the environment have both
increased when compared with 2005 reports, from 67% to 95% and 54% to
84% respectively showed that companies were still addressing matters that would
normally have appeared in an OFR.

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