A Directors' Guide to Integrated Reporting
Ironically, integrated reporting is not really about reporting at all. It’s about integrated thinking, responsible business behaviours and innovation. And telling it like it is.
In December 2013 the International Integrated Reporting Council published the International Integrated Reporting Framework (“the <IR> framework”). This framework is voluntary in the majority of international markets, although it has since been adopted in South Africa as mandatory.
Following a three-year pilot programme which came to a close in September 2014, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) have set up a number of networks, including a business network. The network offers the chance for businesses to explore the opportunities and challenges of adopting integrated reporting in a variety of ways, such as networking with peers, sharing experiences and best practice, accessing crucial investor insights, as well as important industry sector and expert perspectives.
This publication from Deloitte provides a guide for directors on integrated reporting. It looks at:
- The drivers of integrated reporting
- What integrated reporting is, and
- The real benefits that businesses have seen behind integrated reporting.
The new International Integrated Reporting Framework: A review guide for Audit Committee members
This guide has been prepared to assist Board and Audit Committee members in their review of their organisation’s Integrated Report and is drafted in a question and answer manner to allow for ease of reference.
It is important for Directors to note that the <IR> framework assigns very clear and public responsibility to the Board, as explained in this publication. The framework includes guiding principles and content elements, all of which needs to be appropriately addressed in order for the organisation to call its report an Integrated Report. The key question for the Board is whether the Integrated Report explains how the organisation has in the past, and plans to in the future, create and sustain value into the short, medium and longer term.
The <IR> framework is designed to enable the writing of reports that meet the needs of investors. The principles underpinning the framework are in strong alignment with the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 reporting guidance, and it is encouraged that organisations continue to use the G4 guidance to shape the non-financial information to be included in the Integrated Report (just as financial standards guide what financial information is required to be reported).
While this report is addressed to the Audit Committee, this information is relevant to whichever committee has been tasked with reviewing non-financial information on behalf of the Board, which could in some instances be a Sustainability Committee, a Risk Committee, or a Health, Safety & Environment Committee.