The reporting challenge
"Reporting is not just about complying."
(Tony Comper, former CEO of BMO: N°1 Annual Report in the financial sector in the 2002, 2006 and 2007 Annual Report on Annual Reports)
"Corporate annual reports often tell us more than their authors know or intend."
(Robert J. Samuelson, Newsweek, April 21, 1997)
"In 1959, IBM hired Paul Rand, a prominent book designer, to create its annual report. As a result, the high-concept annual report was born."
(Addison Annual Report Handbook 2004/2005)
"A good annual report has a value similar to a one-on-one meeting with investors."
(Richard Carpenter, Managing Partner at MerchantCantos (London, UK), in “Who’s doing what?”, December 2008)
"The annual report is definitely not dead. If anything it is alive and kicking. In fact, the report now just has more avenues for reaching people... The stats are showing that the annual report has a huge online audience and should be capitalized on by companies to communicate a strong message to attract investors and solidify shareholder confidence."
(Renee Carter, Coordinator at the Australiasian Reporting Awards)
"Annual reports don't need to be so long. Compliance fatigue is no excuse for lengthy, unwieldy reports. Financial directors must ensure that each word counts."
(Robert Bruce, on www.financialdirector.co.uk, Nov. 22, 2010)
Reporting is, more than ever, a delicate balance. Between: current shareholders and potential investors, freedom of speech (not less) and compliance (mandatory), substance and style, stockholders and other stakeholders, content and appeal, thoroughness and brevity, information (overload) and communication (overuse), printed and electronic reporting tools, the talk and the walk.
How important is the annual report today?
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