A Single Integrated ReportFrançois Masquelier, Head of Corporate Finance and Treasury, RTL Group, and Honorary Chairman, European Association of Corporate TreasurersOne single document, combining structured and comprehensive communication on financial and non-financial performance, allows a company to project an image of innovation and in demonstrating real determination to be right up to date.
A number of somewhat avant-garde multinationals have realised how far one single document, combining structured and comprehensive communication on financial and non-financial performance, can take them in projecting an image of innovation and in demonstrating real determination to be right up to date. This more co-ordinated and consolidated approach to communication also demonstrates that they want to create a company that is more sustainable in the long run. Doing it is great. Communicating it is even better. Publicising it in a more organised way is ideal. Sometimes it is more the form than the content that will give the impression of pioneering spirit. Some large international groups have understood this – for instance Philips and PepsiCo – and they try to show the readers of their annual reports that they are at the forefront of ‘social responsibility’ and that sustainability goes hand-in-hand with finance.
“It’s no use saying ‘we are doing our best’. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary”
The concept of a single integrated report explaining financial and non-financial performance (ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance) is not just a passing fad. It would in fact be reasonable to expect that, in time, this type of report will be required by the various national and international regulators. In this respect, South Africa (RSA) has been right in the forefront since 1 March 2010, adopting the requirement to issue an integrated report. With ‘King III’ (the King Report on Governance for South Africa 2009), it is now a requirement to produce a report of this type. The aim of this legislation is to see that the Republic of South Africa continues to be a leader in corporate governance standards and practices. The aim is to spur companies on and to put the financial results into perspective, showing how they had a positive or negative effect on the economic life of the communities in which they operate. Alternatively, companies should show how they plan to eradicate the adverse effects in future, or at least minimise them. By this pioneering adoption, South Africa hopes to produce a domino effect. It is interesting to note that, as with ERM (Enterprise Risk Management), it has been more exotic or far-flung countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, that have set the pace. We should also note that South African companies are excited by the idea of making a positive contribution to this sustainability drive.
Treasury Management International showcases topical, pragmatic solutions and strategic insights on treasury, cash management, foreign exchange and other issues affecting treasury and financial professionals, together with treasury and finance news, education and opinion. With real-life treasury management experiences and case studies at its core, TMI provides valuable material for all practitioners - from experienced treasurers and CFOs to those new to the profession.
ADVICE TO READERS
While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the publication, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. All rights reserved. No paragraph or other part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, including photocopying and recording, without the written permission of P4 Publishing Ltd or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1956 (as amended). Such written permission must also be obtained before any paragraph or other part of this publication is stored in a retrieval system of any kind.