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How familiar are you with the corporate reporting value chain?
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Do you know what your company's external reporting strategy is?

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Do you know what corporate information should be disclosed externally?

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Do you know what your stakeholders' information needs are?

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Do you know what material matters will guide disclosure in the company's reporting?

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Do you know if the company's data is accurate?

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Do you know what makes a good report structure?

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External corporate reporting is more than just an annual integrated and sustainability report. It includes all information shared on the website and other communication mediums.

To develop a robust and responsive external reporting and disclosure strategy, consider these five tips:

  1. Tailor your reporting strategy to address the information needs of your stakeholders
  2. Apply globally recognised reporting standards and frameworks to ensure robust and relevant reporting
  3. Determine the appropriate frequency of reporting and ensure timely disclosures, especially for information that is time-sensitive or market-critical
  4. Maintain a high level of transparency and accuracy in your reports to build trust and credibility
  5. Include a stakeholder feedback mechanism to improve future reports and demonstrate stakeholder responsiveness

Our experienced reporting strategists can assist in developing comprehensive external and internal reporting strategies that will address the needs of all your stakeholders.

Reporting and disclosures should ideally be guided by statutory requirements and globally accepted reporting standards and frameworks. In addition, consider these three tips:

  1. Reporting should meet regulatory and legal requirements while adding value to the business, aiding in strategic decision-making and operational improvements
  2. Disclosures should address the information needs of stakeholders (e.g., shareholders, customers, communities and employees), going beyond statutory disclosures to provide transparency and engage with these groups
  3. Companies can use reporting as a strategic tool to communicate performance, challenges, and prospects, thereby building stakeholder trust and enhancing its reputation

Our skilled reporting strategists can provide training and onboarding for any reporting standard or framework, including The International <IR> Framework, JSE Listings Requirements, Companies Act, the King IV Code™, sustainability standards and others.

External reporting should add value and build trust among stakeholders. To understand their stakeholder's information needs, a company should design a robust stakeholder engagement process. Three benefits from such a process are:

  1. Feedback from engagements can enhance the quality of disclosure
  2. It offers opportunities to demonstrate responsiveness to stakeholder needs
  3. Regular stakeholder engagement assists in identifying potential risks, opportunities and material matters

Our expert reporting strategists can assist in identifying stakeholders, developing appropriate communication mechanisms and understanding their information needs.

Here are four tips for determining what material matters should guide a company's disclosure:

  1. Actively engage with various stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, board members, suppliers, and communities, to understand their expectations, concerns and priorities
  2. Different industries face different material matters, and therefore, industry best practices and benchmarks are useful tools
  3. Materiality is closely tied to the company's operating environment, risks and opportunities, stakeholder needs and expectations and the company's ESG impact – therefore, an integrated materiality determination process will be the most robust
  4. Follow the guidance in formal reporting standards and frameworks, for example, the International Integrated Reporting Framework, IFRS S1 and S2, GRI 3, ESRS, JSE Sustainability Guidance etc.

Our experienced reporting strategists can assist in determining financial, impact and double materiality.

There are many data points and pieces of information in any company, varying from granular operational data points to strategic KPIs. The data points that are disclosed externally will depend on the reporting standards and frameworks the company follows and the outcome of its materiality process.

Consider these five questions when evaluating the accuracy of data:

  1. How are the data collected and how reliable are the sources?
  2. Are data collection processes standardised and documented?
  3. Are the data points calculated in the same manner year-on-year?
  4. What internal and/or external processes give comfort that data is accurate and decision-useful?
  5. Are data points defined according to an international standard and therefore comparable with other companies?

Our Value Added Services team can assist in recommending KPIs based on local and international standards and frameworks or benchmarking KPIs to peer reports.

A good report structure is strategic and logical. It enables readers to understand what they are reading and anticipate further information. A good structure helps a reader to find key information easily.

In addition, a good structure:

  1. Has clearly defined chapters and sections that allow for a logical end-to-end read and group relevant topics together
  2. Allows for sufficient context before granular detail is given (cascading of information)
  3. Uses summaries and snapshots effectively
  4. Limits repetition

Our talented content creators can develop a tailored, fit-for-purpose report structure for your internal and external reports.

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