Indeed, the public demands more information from businesses. In the past, companies made primarily use of financial reporting to communicate on their position and performance to stakeholders. Now they acknowledge the need to communicate to the wider public, including also the non-financial information angle like environmental, social, governance, and other operational matters.
With this paradigm shift on how and for whom to report, the objective of the corporate reporting itself is being questioned.
We are far from finding a consensus on which direction reporting should take. However, we think corporate reporting is about both financial and non-financial information because it addresses better the changing reporting landscape and responds to the growing public’s demand.
To move forward in looking for answers, we took the lead in the debate on the future of corporate reporting at the European level. Since 2015, we published a discussion paper and a follow-up on the matter and introduced a conceptual 2-pillar reporting concept, CORE & MORE.
The CORE & MORE concept introduces an innovative way of presenting and linking information reported on. The CORE report is a reader-friendly report on the essential financial and non-financial information. From there, stakeholders can drill down to the MORE reports into the details they want.
This concept could bring all relevant corporate information of the respective entity together in one hub, with technology being a key enabler. It would replace today’s standalone reports which lack an overarching summary and structure.
Our concept is consistent with Integrated Reporting <IR>. With this project, we aim to be a constructive partner to the IIRC. We see <IR> as the most developed and promising initiative to make corporate reporting more relevant and coherent. <IR> and CORE & MORE recommend reporting on the value creation drivers of the organisation. Both look beyond financial performance aiming towards longer term sustainability of businesses.
CORE & MORE is a presentation concept and does not determine the content of corporate reporting. The specific content of CORE & MORE would depend on the company’s assessment of stakeholders’ information needs, based on fundamental principles such as materiality and relevance.
Together with the CORE & MORE concept, we are also analysing topics such as policy making, innovation, and technology.
CORE & MORE is our answer to the main question of this blog ‘what is the future of corporate reporting?’. What is yours?