Ireland’s non-financial reporting needs overhaul: KPMG

Ireland’s non-financial reporting needs overhaul: KPMG

This report focuses on the quality of carbon reporting in 2015 among the worlds 250 largest companies.

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Ireland’s non-financial reporting needs overhaul: KPMG
Non-financial reporting from Ireland’s largest companies lacks consistency, making it almost impossible for stakeholders to compare one company’s performance easily and accurately with another’s, according to the 2015 edition of the KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting.

The report reflects on the current state of non-financial reporting worldwide and identifies key trends and insights on the reporting activities of 4,500 businesses. In the context of the forthcoming COP21 climate change summit in Paris, this is the first time Ireland’s performance is recorded for the country’s top 100 companies (by revenue).

Ireland’s performance

  • Ireland has a below average reporting rate with 70% of the top 100 companies reporting on corporate responsibility. The global average is 73%.
  • Over half (57%) of Irish companies include corporate responsibility information in their annual report, usually in a specific section dedicated to the topic.
  • Just 9% of Irish reporters refer to Integrated Reporting.
  • Only 26% of Ireland’s top 100 have such information assured by a third party, which is significantly lower than the global average of 42%.
  • Over half of Irish companies do not align to recognised reporting guidelines or standards (such as GRI G4).

Colm O’Se, Partner at KPMG said: ‘The findings of the report show a clear opportunity for companies to step up their commitment to providing good quality information and reporting on non-financial matters such as carbon performance. Global reporting guidelines should help to address the issue but we all have a role to play, including Government, stakeholders and investors.’

KPMG’s study follows a recent proposal to the G20 by the Financial Stability Board for a task force to develop consistent climate-related disclosures for companies to help lenders, insurers, investors and other stakeholders to understand material risks (1). The Climate Standards Disclosure Board (CDSB) has also introduced a voluntary framework aimed at helping companies include investor-relevant climate information in mainstream financial reporting (2).

Global trends in corporate responsibility reporting

The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting includes a view of global trends in CR reporting based on analysis of reporting by 4,500 companies across 45 countries.

It shows that the rate of CR reporting is now higher in Asia Pacific than it is in Europe or the Americas (79 percent of companies in Asia Pacific report on CR).

The highest rates of CR reporting are now found in emerging economies such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Africa. These high rates are often driven by regulation, either from governments or stock exchanges.

The research also shows that it is now standard business practice to include corporate responsibility information in the annual financial report – more than half (56 percent) of the 4,500 companies studied do this.

Listen to Caroline Pope of KPMG speak about financial reporting on the Accountancy Ireland podcast here.

ENDS

Media queries/interview requests, contact:
Paul Gray, Communications Manager, KPMG Ireland
paul.gray@kpmg.ie; (01)700 4728

Notes for Editors

About the report

The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting is now in its 9th edition and was first published in 1993. Research is carried out by professionals in KPMG member firms and is based on publicly available information published by companies in their corporate responsibility reports, annual financial reports and websites.

In the 2015 edition, the sample of the world’s 250 largest companies is based on the 2014 Fortune 500 listing (3). Global trends in CR reporting are based on a study of reporting from the top 100 companies by revenue in each of the 45 countries.

About KPMG in Ireland

KPMG in Ireland employs 2,200 people across its audit, tax and advisory services from offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services.

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