Date posted: 7/11/2018 4 min read

Converging reporting frameworks

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue will launch a ‘better alignment project’ to bring together non-financial reporting frameworks.

In Brief

  • The Corporate Reporting Dialogue will launch a ‘better alignment project’.
  • The project aims to bring together non-financial reporting frameworks.
  • It will start on November 20 and run for two years.

Ian Mackintosh, Chair, Corporate Reporting Dialogue
Richard Howitt, CEO, International Integrated Reporting Council
Kris Peach, Chair, Australian Accounting Standards Board
Mardi McBrien, Managing Director, Climate Disclosure Standards Board

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue will launch a 'better alignment project' to bring together non-financial reporting frameworks.

The Chair of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue (CRD), Ian Mackintosh, says it has received funding for a project to better align frameworks and metrics. He says. "The goal is to make it easier for preparers and investors to understand."

Organisations all have frameworks, metrics and guidance for non-financial reporting. We're going to try and get them together.
Ian Mackintosh, Chair, Corporate Reporting Dialogue

The project will begin on November 20 and continue over two years.

Mackintosh says it has four aims:

  • to combat reporting fatigue and reduce the reporting burden
  • to enable effective reporting
  • to manage better pricing in of ESG-related externalities by financial markets
  • to drive long-term efficient allocation of capital
  • to aligning markets with changing risks and opportunities.
Ian Mackintosh
Ian Mackintosh, Chair - Corporate Reporting Dialogue.

Macintosh says the project will also look to align non-financial reporting with financial reporting. "The second step is, how does non-financial reporting line up with financial reporting? But the first phase is, can we get the non-financial reporting stuff together?"

Kris Peach, chair of the Australian Accounting Standards Board, says the aim is to find an overarching framework.

Kris Peach
Kris Peach FCPA, Chair - Australian Accounting Standards Board.

"Investors want to be confident that the information they're getting is trustworthy so it's verifiable, complete, it's neutral, it's balanced: it's all those things we think our financial statements should be."

Peach says that getting the overarching framework right is going to be very helpful. "You can then still have different regulators coming in with specific requirements and specific disclosures but at least that whole picture should be subject to the same processes and procedures. If you can focus on that, that would be a great outcome."

"I think there is goodwill and there is going to be a lot of support from international companies to say, 'Guys you really need to get this sorted'."

Converging reporting frameworks

Speakers at the Converging reporting frameworks session.

Mardi McBrien, Managing Director of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), says the project aligns with her organisation's ethos and collaborative approach.

"For CDSB, this is business as usual," she says. "We're an organisation of eight board members brought together by the World Economic Forum 10 years ago to drive consistency, so we're all used to working together as a group to bring ideas together and drive change."

McBrien says she has been working in climate change reporting for eight years, and for 7½ years she "has been apologising for the fact that these things aren't aligned".

She says they are set up with the best intentions by innovative companies that see gaps and set up frameworks and standards to fill those gaps to help companies report better. "Our challenge as standard setters is bringing that together now for you [companies] into one cohesive product," McBrien says.

Richard Howitt, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council, says businesses believe non-financial reporting frameworks are a burden.

Richard Howitt
Richard Howitt, Chief Executive Officer of the International Integrated Reporting Council.

"We want you to tell people about the alignment project, to involve people in the project and make them part of this process to give them the confidence to start down the road of non-financial reporting," he says. "Most are doing it great and the practice will evolve; the big prize of this project is, for the 94% who are not doing it, to get them on board."

Converging reporting frameworks

Speakers at the Converging reporting frameworks session.

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