Assurance of Integrated Reports: The State of the Art
Posted: 15 Oct 2016
Date Written: January 31, 2016
The focus of this paper is the issue of assurance of different sustainability, social, environmental or governance sections of companies’ annual reports, which fall under the umbrella of integrated reports. The main research questions are: which are the sections assured; to what extent are the accounting and audit professionals involved in the assurance process of integrated reports; and which are the standards used in the assurance missions. We explore the integrated reports issued in 2014 by 98 companies included in the International Integrated Reporting Council’s Pilot Programme. Our main conclusions are that most of the companies obtain assurance only for a part of the information disclosed in the integrated reports, most of the reports are assured by the accountancy companies and the most used standard is ISAE 3000. The article is important for the accounting practitioners as it presents new opportunities for the development of the profession. From the academic point of view, the discrepancy between our results and the results of the studies based on sustainability reports proves that the assurance of the integrated reports is a specific theme, which should be studied separately.
Keywords: assurance, accounting professionals, integrated reporting, Pilot Programme, assurance standards
JEL Classification: M14, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation