The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants have released a new report on how accountants can play a key role in the trend toward integrated reporting.

The report, “From Share Value to Shared Value: Exploring the Role of Accountants in Developing Integrated Reporting in Practice,” examines the recent move—particularly in Europe—toward integrated reporting. In such reports, companies explain both their own financial returns and social and economic impact they are making.

Integrated reporting, or IR, is defined as a concise communication about how a company’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects, in the context of its external environment, lead to the creation of value over the short, medium and long term.

The report discusses how accountants can contribute to the identification of areas for improvement as well as the development of solutions. Implementing new accounting methodologies requires carefully designing guidelines and processes, and accountants can play a substantial role in the development of the integrated report.

“I believe the adoption of IR will not reach its full potential, including in the U.S., unless we, as an accounting community, take several actions to lay the groundwork for a transformation in external corporate reporting,” said IMA vice president of research and policy Raef Lawson in a statement.
CFOs can be leaders of IR projects within their companies, while accountants, management accountants, and auditors have important roles to play in devising the right accounting for capitals, the right information systems, and the right assurance for the reported information, according to the report.

“The roles of accountants in implementing IR are of utmost importance. CFOs can be leaders of the IR projects within their companies,” said Faye Chua, head of business insights at ACCA. “Accountants, management accountants, and auditors have important roles to play in devising the right accounting for capitals, the right information systems, and the right assurance for the reported information.”