The survey addresses the reasons why a gap exists between the key value drivers and the company's results disclosed in business reporting.
The KPMG Survey of Business Reporting looks at annual reports of 90 companies from all over the world. The main topics analyzed in the survey include: the contents of an annual report, risk reporting, performance and integrated reporting. The key concern addressed is why information provided in annual reports forms the basis for short-term decisions only and why the contents of such reports do not always fully align with stakeholders' expectations.
According to the survey:
- Only 7% of companies provided performance data on customer focus or satisfaction despite the fact that audit committees identify this as a matter of paramount importance.
- 85% of reports did not identify brand & reputation as a key risk.
- 21% of companies did not provide any operating measures of performance.
As the KPMG survey reveals, annual reports need not only cover historical data, but also provide management's vision for the future. This is intended to help investors get a better view of where the company is moving and what to expect in the future.
KPMG provides four suggestions to help improve business reporting:
1. Align performance measures with the drivers of shareholder value. Only few companies report on achieving the key criteria for creating business value.
2. Recognise that the financials are only the start of the story. Operational performance measures are better than historical financial data in highlighting the prospects for the company's development.
3. Join up reporting content – don't leave unanswered questions. Many reports do not address business development matters, in particular management approaches used by the company.
4. Refocus reporting culture. Companies should confirm that they apply a business-focused approach to preparing their statements and understand what kind of information their stakeholders expect them to provide.
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