Annual reporting in 2016/17: broad perspective, clear focus is the fourth edition of EY’s annual review of FTSE 350 annual reports and accounts (ARAs).
With increasing pressure on the annual report to address a range of investor and stakeholder interests, our analysis helps preparers ensure their annual reports encompass these changing expectations and also remain focused on a material, clear and relevant narrative.
The report looks at key issues impacting business today to see how they are being reflected in annual reporting and focuses on the following themes:
- Purpose, business model and risks
- Wider stakeholder engagement
- Governance reporting
- Future trends in reporting
- Recent and upcoming reporting requirements
For a quick read, please see the executive summary, which highlights the key findings in each of the themes explored this year.
Listen to our Corporate Governance team discussing the report and their key findings:
Interactive aide mémoire and other practical features
Our interactive aide mémoire contains the hallmarks of leading practice updated for new recommendations. It comes in an editable pdf format so you can make notes and track your progress while preparing your next ARA.
The report also has a number of other practical features, including:
- Interviews with the Financial Reporting Lab, ICSA: The Governance Institute, the Investment Association, HSBC and USS
- Case studies highlighting companies with leading practice reporting in certain areas
- An updated ‘acid test’ covering the key questions a reader should be able to answer after reading each section of an ARA
Following the publication of our report, Annual reporting in 2016/17: broad perspective, clear focus, we ran a webcast on 28 September 2017 to discuss the content and provide preparers with practical ideas for how to improve their next annual reports.
The webcast was attended by almost 200 participants, including 117 representatives of FTSE 350 companies, as well as a number of other significant UK and international listed and private entities, investors and regulators.
We conducted live opinion polls to gain an understanding of participant views. Here are some highlights:
Levels of ambition on annual reporting?
Annual reports are coming under increased pressure from both investors and wider stakeholders, so we decided to ask preparers what approach they take to annual reporting.
Shout about it – the rise of stakeholder engagement reporting
Most companies’ annual reports identify their stakeholders, but few disclose how they engage with them or specific issues they discuss. We wondered if companies might be doing more to engage with stakeholders than their annual reports are giving them credit for, so we asked preparers for their insights.
Time to get NFRD ready
To comply with changes from the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive, companies which are not quoted but have more than 500 employees have more to contend with, but even for quoted companies there are nuanced changes to consider.
The holistic view of corporate reporting
In our review we also looked at other forms of corporate reporting – preliminary results announcements and analyst presentations. In line with the board requirement to assess fair, balanced and understandable reporting across the ARA and other price sensitive information, we wondered how many boards are looking across the spectrum to ensure consistency and balance of messaging across corporate communications.