Key reporting standard setters in dialogue

Responding to calls for better alignment in corporate reporting, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) yesterday introduced The Corporate Reporting Dialogue (CRD).

The stated aim of the CRD is to promote greater coherence, consistency and comparability between corporate reporting frameworks, standards and related requirements, leading to improved efficiency and effectiveness.

The organizations participating in the CRD, which was launched at the International Corporate Governance Network Annual Conference in Amsterdam, are:

  • Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB)
  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
  • International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)
  • International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)
  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

The reality is that there is also concern, perhaps even insecurity, amongst some that some of these organisations will lose relevance unless there is greater connectivity between their aims and standards/frameworks.  That is not to say that their aims need to be the same. Indeed they serve different stakeholders as alluded to by the Chair of the CRD, Huguette Labelle, also Chair of Transparency International and a member of the IIRC Council.

She stated, “The corporate reporting landscape is changing. For too long, reporting has been fragmented and disconnected from the strategic drivers of value. In an interconnected world, isolated change is insufficient to reflect the complexities of modern business and investment practice. The CRD is a collaboration that will promote greater cohesion and efficiency, rebalancing reporting in favour of the reader, helping to re-establish the connection between a business and its principal stakeholders.”

Hopefully this means that a focus on accountability for impacts on people, communities and the environment will not be lost and instead be increasingly seen as essential to creating value.  What many readers want is change in the way business is done and reporting has a critical role in this – something that should not be lost in ‘rebalancing reporting in favour of the reader’.

According to the IIRC, the CRD will develop practical ways to bring alignment to the direction, content and ongoing development of reporting frameworks, standards and related requirements. Participants will share information, express a common voice on areas of mutual interest, and as the initiative progresses, will reach out to the broader corporate reporting landscape. The initial deliverable will be to develop a ‘Corporate Reporting Landscape’ highlighting the connectivity of the various reporting frameworks and standards and their relevance to Integrated Reporting.

Paul Druckman, CEO, IIRC

Paul Druckman, CEO, IIRC

The CRD could then become a powerful catalyst for change.  Indeed Paul Druckman, CEO of the IIRC has pointed to the importance of the dialogue in furthering change stating: “At the creation of the IIRC we set out to be a catalyst for an evolution in corporate reporting – the formation of the CRD is at the heart of this, and is a significant step towards achieving our goal.”

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Towards integrated thinking at Unilever

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