The world’s leading financial and non-financial corporate reporting frameworks have the same common foundations, based on the key objectives of transparency and accountability, according to a position paper published by the framework providers today. The position paper sets out the seven key principles report preparers should follow for achieving such transparency and accountability.
Participants of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue—an initiative convened by the International Integrated Reporting Council bringing together the major international reporting frameworks—identify transparency and accountability as critical to achieving high-quality governance mechanisms and empowerment of stakeholders in modern societies and markets.
Furthermore, such transparency and accountability enables better decision-making by market parties and serves the public good.
In the paper, entitled “Understanding the value of transparency and accountability”, CDP, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Accounting Standards Board, the International Integrated Reporting Council, the International Organization for Standardization and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board set out seven principles of transparency and accountability that they commonly believe are fundamental to corporate reporting: materiality, completeness, accuracy, balance, clarity, comparability and reliability.
The paper states:
These common principles are a reminder that the Dialogue participants have similar expectations from companies in preparing and disclosing information. This implies an alignment at the fundamental level of the frameworks.
The position paper acknowledges a commonly agreed need for companies to go beyond disclosure and demonstrate accountability to stakeholders, stating:
…transparency needs accountability in order to drive effective behaviour or performance: disclosing in itself is not enough if those holding to account do not have the power to influence the behaviour or performance.
Participants of the Dialogue have committed to promoting the application of these principles for the wider reporting landscape in future interactions or partnerships, as part of their commitment to providing greater clarity to the reporting landscape on how to use the individual frameworks of Dialogue participants to achieve effective, holistic reporting.
The paper can be accessed by visiting the Corporate Reporting Dialogue website.