Integrated Reporting and the Capitals’ Diffusion
Report published by the French Accounting Standard Setter (Autorité des Normes Comptables), 2019
41 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 31, 2019
The idea of “integrated reporting” has been in the mind of business organizations, the accounting profession, and academics for 40 years now, with the first reports being published in the early 2000s. “For many years, integrated reporting has been something of a holy grail for advocates of accountability, something that has not been achieved through most efforts at triple bottom line reporting” (Todd, 2005, p. 3). However today, “[…] we are perhaps witnessing the early stages of widespread promulgation of a different way of thinking about corporate success and reporting” (Adams, 2015, p. 23).
Six years after the publication of the first integrated reporting framework (the IR Framework from the IIRC) that embodies the idea of « integrated reporting », three researchers have investigated the diffusion of this accounting innovation.
Their research makes the following new contributions to our understanding of integrated reporting:
• Their research outlines several new countries that have a large number of integrated reports and have not been investigated in depth: Sri Lanka and Mexico for example.
• It demonstrates the high proportion of industries linked to “intangibles” that publish integrated reports.
• Their research contrasts the impression given by earlier research that only large companies publish integrated reports, as 42% of companies have less than 5,000 employees.
• Despite previous acknowledgement of the large joint use between the GRI and integrated reporting (83% according to the WBCSD (2018)), they find that only a little over 50% acknowledge both approaches together.
• Our research also outlines that a large number of companies have now adopted the title “integrated report”, which demonstrates a deepening of adoption.
Keywords: Integrated Reporting, IIRC, diffusion
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