Future-proof your reporting now

There’s lot of factors to consider in planning your next reporting suite including team, process, content and channels. Here are some of the issues we think you should be thinking about now.

Written by
Friend

There’s lot of factors to consider in planning your next reporting suite including team, process, content and channels. Here are some of the issues we think you should be thinking about now.

1. Get your ‘dream team’ in place

The best people, from both your agency and your business, working together as one well-oiled machine – that’s the most important thing to get right. But the intense pressures of the reporting process can derail the most carefully laid plans, particularly if your agency’s team is already stretched, working all hours and juggling multiple accounts. For us, the capacity of our teams’ is key to managing the pinch points, maintaining high levels of responsiveness, and staying calm under pressure. From our long experience in reporting, we fully understand the importance of expecting the unexpected, so we plan ahead to give our teams the flexibility to handle the pressure.

As well as your agency’s team, make sure your internal team are lined up and briefed in and if changes are being made to your senior leadership team, consider how this might affect reporting ambitions and sign-off processes. Bring all new stakeholders up to speed with their responsibilities so they know what’s needed from them, and when.

2. Prepare to disclose more on sustainability

 

The growing appetite for ESG/sustainability disclosure among investors, regulators and other stakeholders is set to continue, so it’s a good time to familiarise yourself with new requirements. Most significant are the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Standards, which are set to be published at the end of June and will be incorporated into UK legislation. Also due soon is the Transition Plan Taskforce’s Framework and Implementation Guidance which will provide practical help for reporters preparing their first climate transition plan.

Multi-nationals with subsidiaries in the EU will need to start getting their heads around the impact of the Corporate Social Responsibility Directive (CSRD) which will go further than any sustainability reporting legislation has been before.

Of course, responses to new regulation can prove tricky to integrate with existing content. We frequently help our clients incorporate more in-depth sustainability information while ensuring that the length doesn’t get out of hand, and that the overall story and impact aren’t diminished.

3. Embrace the benefits of digital-first reporting

The combination of rapid advances in technology and mandatory digital-first reporting formats mean that real change is finally coming to the world of reporting.

Innovative new technology, like Friend’s Reportl platform, is transforming processes and outputs. Reportl enables reporters to publish identical content across a range of formats faster and more cost effectively than ever before. We’re already working with clients on digital transition plans, so they’ve got everything in place to succeed.

Reportl will also help reporters meet the increasing requirements for fully accessible content – that means print, PDF, online and now Inline XBRL. The European Accessibility Act – which will require companies that do business in the EU to uphold accessibility standards from June 2025 onwards – raises the stakes further.

4. Prepare for new reporting requirements

From 2024, Public Interest Entities (more than £750m of revenue and with 750+ employees) will need to produce a Resilience Statement as part of their Strategic Report, which will offer a high-level explanation of the approach taken to ensure operational and financial resilience.

This will replace both the viability and going concern statements and is also set to incorporate principal risks and uncertainties – so three hitherto stable sections of the annual report will change all at once.

Reporters will also soon have to publish an Audit and Assurance Policy once every three years, which sets out their approach to assuring the quality of the information in the annual report, beyond the financial statements, and then offer an ‘annual implementation report’ within the annual report, explaining how the policy is working in practice.

 

If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry, we can help. Drop us a line if you’d like to find out how we can make your reporting better than ever - both the process and all the outputs.

hello@friendstudio.com

Written by
Friend