The International Federation of Accountants has issued a policy paper that stresses the importance of reporting on broad-based information beyond what is traditionally included in financial reporting.
IFAC’s Policy Position Paper 8, Enhancing Organizational Reporting, describes how enhanced organizational reporting provides a more complete view of an organization’s position, performance and long-term potential and sustainability, while also being in the public interest. The document provides information aimed at both internal and external stakeholders to support managing and directing operations, decision making, promoting transparency, and the discharge of accountability.
IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury noted that the topic is a timely one given the high volume of responses to the recently issued draft framework on integrated reporting from the International Integrating Reporting Council. “We recognize that there are many organizational reporting frameworks and regulations available and being developed, and it is important to examine the relationships between these frameworks and promote global consistency and convergence,” he said in a statement last Friday.
The accountancy profession has a history of involvement in developing and improving reporting processes and controls, and identifying and reporting key financial and other information, IFAC pointed out, and it believes the accounting profession has a key role to play in enhancing organizational reporting.
“Increasingly, regulators are becoming aware of the need for a broad range of information about how organizations run their businesses in order to fulfill their regulatory objectives,” said the document. “They are also paying greater attention to enhanced organizational reporting, and are increasingly of the view that assessments of an organization—for example, its performance or its compliance with regulatory requirements—depend on a wider range of information than is available from traditional financial reports. Recognizing the importance of the issue, many regulators are considering the best ways to encourage organizations to produce and publish more broad-based information.”
The policy paper notes that such reporting has been described in many ways, including: social and environmental accounting and reporting; corporate social responsibility reporting; environmental, social and governance reporting; sustainability reporting; and integrated reporting.
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