Narrative reporting taking over annual reports

Narrative reporting is taking up a greater proportion of annual reports,
according to

While the size of annual reports grew by just 2% on 2007 to an average 96
pages, narrative reporting makes up 54% of the reports, which is a 3% increase
on the previous year.

Annual reports are 35% longer than they were in 2005.

‘The main message from this year’s survey is the realisation of how much the
narrative reporting requirements have grown like topsy over the years,’ said
Deloitte audit partner Isobel Sharp.

‘New requirements have been bolted on and new extensions will be added in
2008/9. The result is that the narrative sections of annual reports can have
similarities with the famous Ronnie Corbett monologues, namely lots of

‘Unfortunately new rules governing narrative reporting mean that this is
unlikely to change in the future.’

A new requirement for a directors’ responsibility statement, introduced by
the Financial Services Authority and emanating from the EU Transparency
Obligations Directive, was met only by 54% of relevant companies.

Further reading:

Deloitte’s survey

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