Every year PwC publish a report looking at trends in corporate reporting. It always makes interesting reading - not least because we at Coast have helped the firm write its report in previous years.
The 2018 corporate reporting season has presented some unique challenges for businesses. The days of a retrospective report are long gone; investors clamour for more forward-looking information, and in what is perhaps the greatest period of uncertainty for a decade, that detail, PwC says, is in short supply.
Corporate reporting, PwC says, is increasingly focused on the wider needs of all stakeholders in a business and not just the investment community - and that has to be a good thing.
Yet in reading PwC's report, there is a feeling that corporate reporting remains driven by statutory requirements. Whilst the regulatory stick is still required, corporate communicators will, I am sure, look at the annual corporate report as a missed opportunity.
The backdrop to this year’s reporting season has been one of uncertainty and this has clearly had an effect on the trends we’ve witnessed. While the emphasis on stakeholders and overall direction was clear, the detail was not yet in place, and indeed most of the changes were not going to be mandatory even for the next reporting season. All of which left companies with a bit of a conundrum for the main 2017-18 reporting season – how far was it right to go to anticipate 2019-20? And how far would others go?