Posted on December 04, 2013
The idea for the research was born when the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) published the feedback it had received on its consultation draft. The feedback contained a wealth of information that deserved further exploration. Upon embarking on the process of analysing the feedback from a large number of organisations, it soon became apparent that the results needed to be contextualised against current integrated reporting practices. In order to provide the context, the ALCRL team embarked on a second research process to understand the nature of current integrated reporting practices in South Africa.
Opening the evening’s proceedings, Prof Derick De Jong (Director of ALCRL) argued that the time has come for critical reflection on current financial reporting practices, a system that is perhaps best treated as an anachronism that needs to be laid to rest with all possible haste. Paying tribute to the Class of 2013, he commended their hard work, resilience and positive attitude throughout the year, especially since they were the first to do the course and faced unknown challenges.
Presenting the findings of the research, Mr Pieter Conradie (Programme Director) stated that the purpose of the research was not to “name and shame” specific companies, but rather to provide an overview of the following:
The research was conducted in two phases. The first phase investigated certain trends that emerged from the rating of the integrated reports, while the second phase investigated the most important issues that emerged from a thematic analysis of the feedback on the IIRC Consultation Draft.
According to Mr Conradie, the research raises a fundamental question regarding the primary audience of an integrated report, namely: “For whom are we doing this?” Both phases of the research point to a worrying predicament: major South African companies who prepare integrated reports appear to be uncertain who their target audience is, while the investor groups who commented on the consultation draft are not convinced that they should be the primary intended audience.
Mrs Madelein Barkhuizen was named top student of 2013 and received an iPad as a token of appreciation for her unrelenting effort throughout the year.
Judge Mervyn King, Chairman of the IIRC, delivered the closing address.
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