Paging company directors! Where are you on the integrated reporting train? Are you in the engine room or lounging in your first class cabin? Do you know where the train’s going? When last did the conductor pass by with a journey update and have you heard from the driver lately?
The problem with new regulations is they sound like work and don’t always come with clear directions. So what to do about integrated reporting? It might sound like a pitch, but – seriously – it’s time to get your hands dirty and maybe lay some new tracks.
Incite and First Principles teamed up this month to offer a first for South African reporting professionals: a hands-on workshop to identify practical solutions to integrated reporting challenges.
The 1-day sessions in Johannesburg and Cape Town featured an experienced panel of facilitators on the topic. Guest speaker was Susan Blesener, Director of Accountability at Danish company Novo Nordisk, a world leader in integrated reporting.
More importantly, participants were experienced practitioners from top SA companies. They brought coalface knowledge of what it takes to get an integrated report out the door and they told us what needs doing to make it add value to South African businesses.
What participants said?
• Directors and senior management need to get involved right up front – otherwise much business value is simply lost and resources wasted
• The reporting teams need clear mandates and authority to do their work
• Strategy should drive reporting – not the other way round
• The reporting cycle should be embedded with new and existing management systems throughout the company
The take-home message? Integrated reporting is not a publication. It is an accountability tool that can drive improvements in business management.
It can also deliver strategic performance data on a quarterly or monthly basis. What’s not to love?