Evolution of Corporate Reporting: From Stand-Alone Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting to Integrated Reporting
17 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2017 Last revised: 8 Nov 2017
Date Written: August 25, 2017
Both financial and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting are bound by global constraints. A common trait among the reporting systems is a growing movement toward comparability and accountability. Global pressures initially motivated the push toward standalone CSR reporting and now toward integrated reporting. Integrated reports (IR) include financial, economic, governance, and social information in one report. In the United States, integrated reporting is voluntary and only a small number of companies have issued IRs to date. This report provides a history of CSR reporting and then examines whether the non-financial economic, governance and social indicators identified in prior literature as being of interest to retail investors (Cohen et al. 2011) are disclosed in the pioneering U.S. IRs. Descriptive results indicate the initial IRs cover predominately indicators of economic and social performance with little focus on governance. Further analysis indicates that the IRs examined do not, as a rule, provide the information most highly desired by investors (i.e. market share, executive compensation, and product safety). This study provides a baseline for companies preparing IRs and for regulators (i.e. SEC, FASB) in the context of determining future disclosure regulations.
Keywords: Integrated Reports, CSR, Voluntary Disclosure, Non-Financial Reporting, SASB, GRI
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