In this fourth post of our series discussing issues for year-end planning consideration, we are suggesting an area where you can start now to begin creating momentum for change. In his speech at the annual SEC/FASB/PCAOB conference, AICPA Chair Barry Melancon highlighted integrated reporting. Sustainability and integrated reporting were also the focus of a disclosure panel at the conference.
You can find some background about integrated reporting on the AICPA’s webpage and on the International Integrated Reporting Council’s webpage. In addition, this blog post by Bob Laux at the IIRC, who is also a Director here at SEC Institute, provides a valuable perspective.
The SEC raised the issue of disclosures about ESG matters in its 2016 Regulation S-K Concept Releaseand many companies have begun to make disclosures in the move towards the goal of communicating information to present a more complete and transparent picture of performance, utilization of resources, and ability to create value over the long term. This 2017 posthas some real company example disclosures.
Research shows that almost all of the Fortune 500 companies are making some level of sustainability disclosures. A report from the Governance and Accountability Institute states that 85% of the Fortune 500 companies make a sustainability report.
With all this activity surrounding integrated Reporting our suggestion is to put this topic on your disclosure agenda, and as you work through year-end begin to think of areas where it would be appropriate for your company and your financial statement users to begin providing incremental information.
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome!