Date posted: 04/07/2022

Why SMEs are missing out on the benefits of integrated thinking and reporting

A joint paper that explores how to improve business performance through integrated reporting and thinking techniques.

In brief

  • Many small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are not aware of the benefits that integrated reporting and thinking provide.
  • Supporting SMEs in Australia for future success is a joint paper by CA ANZ, the Deakin Integrated Reporting Centre (DIRC) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
  • The paper explores how SMEs can improve their business performance by utilising integrated thinking and integrated reporting concepts.

Integrated thinking and integrated reporting are not new concepts, but they may be for many small to medium enterprises (SMEs). A joint white paper by CA ANZ, DIRC and ACCA, Supporting SMEs in Australia for future success, explores what is needed to engage SMEs to undertake integrated reporting and thinking.

Integrated thinking involves a broader approach to decision making, management and reporting. There is a strong focus on the non-financial and financial factors that affect an organisation’s ability to create or sustain value over time.

Integrated reporting is used by organisations to clearly communicate their integrated thinking with a wide range of stakeholders in their information loop, such as employees, suppliers, customers and financiers.

The joint paper found that in Australia, there is currently very little progress by SMEs to adopt integrated reporting and thinking techniques. Research suggests that for SMEs to embrace these techniques, it is essential they are surrounded by a supportive environment within the broader SME ecosystem and have adequate financial, managerial and social resources to promote wider adoption.

 

“In today’s complex and changing business environment, it has never been more important for SMEs to tell their story and show stakeholders how they plan to create value and grow over time,”
Ainslie van Onselen, CA ANZ CEO

 

“In today’s complex and changing business environment, it has never been more important for SMEs to tell their story and show stakeholders how they plan to create value and grow over time,” said Ainslie van Onselen, CA ANZ CEO.

The paper includes eight recommendations for action by key SME stakeholders, including how accountants, as trusted advisors, should seek to understand the benefits of integrated thinking and integrated reporting and, where appropriate, encourage adoption. The recommendations aim to build and strengthen the broader SME ecosystem to support their adoption of integrated thinking and reporting.

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