It’s not about what next, but who next
Listed entities, regulators and wider industry experts perpetually debate the actual need for an annual report. Let’s end that debate now. Listed entities will always legally be required to communicate their financial results at year end and as part of that, audiences will always need commentary to explain what the numbers mean.
With 80% of corporate value reliant on intangible assets such as intellectual property, customers and the company’s brand, the debate should not be about the future of the annual report but how we communicate this story to the next generation of analysts, investors and wider stakeholders.
This generation will still need annual reports, just with different needs – they live their lives online and demand greater accountability and clarity in their communications. They need their reports to be more digestible than ever, with bite-size content ensuring ongoing conversation over the course of a year.
Rest assured, the annual report will still be the key piece of corporate communication even when Generation Z are the CEO’s of listed organisations, so make it accessible for them now. Don’t wait till it’s their turn.
Nick Rose, Head of Reporting Communications
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August 1, 2019