Three firms have got together to produce a report on how analysts and investors like to receive what they term ‘extra-financial’ information, which covers areas like environmental, social and governance issues.
The research was commissioned by the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and the Global Reporting Initiative, and conducted by Radley Yeldar.
The survey worked with a relatively small sample – 34 investors and 35 analysts – so it’s hard to read too much into the findings. In addition, 68 percent of respondents identify themselves as working in the socially responsible investment area, so the results are skewed toward their particular wants. Acknowledging the small sample size in the report, the authors say they hope their work lays the foundations for a more detailed analysis.
Still, there are some interesting findings worth pulling out. For instance, despite all the money being poured into HTML reports, the majority of investors and analysts say an on-screen PDF is their preferred format for receiving both financial and extra-financial information.
The report’s authors say the preference for PDFs ‘may be explained by their flexibility and ease of use, either as a printed or on-screen document.’ A significant minority, however, say they prefer to use a variety of formats to receive information ‒ so don’t shut down that micro-site just yet.
The report also signals further demand for integrated reporting, which refers to when companies draw links between financial performance and ESG issues. ‘The majority of our sample state that integrated reporting will be useful or very useful for increasing the reliability, accessibility, relevance and comparability of extra-financial information, as well as improving assessments of future company performance,’ notes the report.
Read the full report here.
By Tim Human
Advice: Is integrated reporting right for my organization? – Inside Investor Relations