Financial Reporting in Financial Times – Guest post by Richard O’Connor**
Financial Communication – “Driving the Brand”
First Impressions last and for Italian groups operating on the international arena their primary focus is to present themselves seamlessly to the outside world. A company’s image is something which must be consistently reflected across all communications released to a public which expects high levels of transparency. Financial communication is just another aspect of this and in fact encompasses a range of important documents sanctioned by the Board for a wide-ranging stakeholder base – from bankers and investors, clients and suppliers, overseas regulation, statutory and fiscal compliance etc..
The Annual Report is the principal communication document reporting on the Financial Year based on statutory, regulatory and accounting requirements, embracing the main operational and business aspects and enabling informed decision-making by the readers of the report. The Annual Report also includes additional material considered beneficial for various stakeholder groups and in recent years has been influenced by the concept of Integrated Reporting.
The International Integrated Reporting Council’s Framework (IIRC) was issued in December 2013 and provides companies with a starting point to drive integrated thinking and reporting. The objective of Integrated Reporting is to enhance the way organisations think, plan and report their business.
In addition, large and medium-sized multinationals widely promote Social Responsibility through the Annual Corporate Responsibility Report (CRS), mainly due to increasing consumer awareness and often driven by social media and in particular the “Millennial Generation”.
It’s clear that financial communication, reporting and brand image are intrinsically intertwined!!