6 corporate reporting questions for every business

Our study of Danish corporate reporting with Kontrapunkt prompted debate within our network about how we respond to the changing audiences for corporate reporting. 

Here are some snippets from those discussions, and six questions every business can be asking themselves in this area

1. Does your brand purpose link to your work in ESG?

Investors are focussed on ESG. So you need to integrate ESG into your company’s value story. But as your ESG position evolves, where does that leave your brand purpose?

2. How do you create a report that has to do so much?

Corporate reports are out to do much more than report on performance and document compliance. They have become a core brand asset that helps to build your reputation and attract new talent. What does it take to make this happen?

3. Should brand communicate how they create value as a whole?

Investors and all other stakeholders are coming to your corporate reports to get a clear understanding of how you create value as a business – for your people, for the communities you do business in, and for society as a whole. 

But the value you create is part of a larger ecosystem. So is it time for companies to start sharing – and reporting – how they create value together?

Where to start?

  • Explain how you create value: Skip silo reporting and  go for a more holistic  approach

  • Start with your purpose: If it’s the North Star of  your business, it should  also guide the way you report on your ESG  commitments.

  • Share your journey: Stakeholders are looking  for progress on your  commitments and the  long-term perspective.

  • Keep it clear. Make people care: Be distinctive. Let your brand  personality shine through.  The point is not only to report;  it’s to connect with people.

4. Do corporate reports answer the right questions for stakeholders?

Corporate reports help stakeholders assess whether a company is the right fit when it comes to making investments, engaging in partnerships or finding new career opportunities. 

But not many companies engage with their stakeholders to get a better understanding of what they want to know. Do corporate reports answer the right questions for their stakeholders? 

5. How will future talent judge your corporate reports?

Corporate reports are not just for investors and analysts. One group that’s increasingly important for companies to cater to is employees, current and future. 

They look to businesses to be agents for sustainable change. And they use your corporate reports to answer the question ‘why should I join that company?’ or ‘why should I stay?’. 

6. Why do we continue to struggle to get value from our corporate reporting? 

The corporate reporting conundrum: They tell us the full story of how the company creates value – but they are famously the least value-creating assets in the corporate mix. Why do we continue to struggle to get value from our corporate reporting? 

Where to start?

  • Who is your audience, what does their world look like? 
  • What are they looking for in your report? 
  • You need a fact based understanding of your audience if you want to create corporate reports that are clear and really make people care.

You can download the trends in Danish corporate reporting study here –

 

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