Best annual reports

Annual Report on Annual Reports

This Year: 2019 Rating and Ranking

Best annual reporting practices for reports for a year ended in 2018

Last Year: 2018 Rating and Ranking

Annual Reports

Ten reasons for taking part in the Annual Report on Annual Reports

➢ Valuing reporting team’s work.

The preparation and publication of an annual report is a task than can consume hundreds of man-hours of valuable staff and advisers’ time and thousands of dollars, euros, yens… from company budgets. The process of preparing an annual report has a value that is independent of the published document. It is often difficult to judge internally how much is enough in such an area. An external perspective is therefore very useful.

➢ Praising investor relations and corporate communication managers’ investment of time and effort.

"Despite the numerous obituaries about the annual report, many companies still see the real value of delivering this annual message for communication and education purpose, and investor expectation setting." (Rob Berick, Falls Communications, U.S.)

➢ Rating the annual report independently and internationally.

“We are taking part in various annual report and investor relations competitions, but the one we take more seriously is the Annual Report on Annual Reports for its accuracy, balanced assessment, and a real international exposure." (A Canadian IR officer)
“The Annual Report on Annual Reports is a real international competition… without those big self-glorifying national celebrations and glitzy awards." (A financial communication manager in a blue-chip German company)

➢ Going beyond compliance only.

Publishing an annual report is mandatory for listed companies. However, as the then CEO of Canadian BMO bank (singled out a few times for its reporting practice) once wrote in his annual report message: “Reporting is not just about complying.”

➢ Showcasing year performance and medium-term strategy.

A recent survey conducted among buy-side investors worldwide by U.S.-based Rivel Research showed the clarity of business strategy and growth potential as the two major aspects considered for long-term investment. The annual report remains the principal document for presenting both past year performance and strategic objectives and their execution in a medium- to long-term perspective. By placing as much emphasis on strategic aspects as on last year items, the Annual Report on Annual Reports provides a balanced assessment of companies’ real fundamentals –the ones often missed in short-termist views of performance.

➢ Comparing reporting features with competitors and peers.

Having company reporting efforts and output evaluated is good, having these compared with competitors and peers is even better. Competitive analysis and comparisons have long stood among the plus points of the Annual Report on Annual Reports.

➢ Keeping up with best practice and latest report trends.

Spotting good, better and best practice is a net result of the Annual Report on Annual Reports scanning, scoring and rating process. Besides, as reporting is not only a static mandatory job but also has its own dynamics, it is worth watching recent and upcoming trends.

➢ Keeping existing shareholders in and/or attracting new investors.

According to reliable sources (e.g. PR Newswire), two-thirds of investors say that they read annual reports of companies in which they own stock. A majority of potential investors still consider the annual report as a primary source of information about a company. The annual report “has a huge online audience and (is) capitalized on by companies to communicate a strong message to attract investors and solidify shareholder confidence in the long run,” says Renee Carter, an Australian communication specialist).

➢ Lowering the cost of capital.

Research by C. Botosan and M. Plumlee (Accounting Review) and R. Fu, A. Kraft and H. Zhang (Erasmus, Rotterdam; Cass Business School, London; Nanyang Business School, Singapore) have found that the cost of equity decreases in the annual report disclosure level. Matters such as financial analysis, cash flows, risk management, internal controls et al., if reported fairly and properly have an effect on firms’ cost of capital (see e.g. H. Ashbaugh-Skaife, D. W. Collins, W. R. Kinney, R. LaFond; 2006). A significant number of CFOs and FDs believe that greater disclosure in reporting may increase the availability of capital or reduce its cost.

➢ Striving for higher standards.

Last but not least, the Annual Report on Annual Reports as a whole -in addition to report evaluation services- allows report managers, makers, advisers, designers… to make progress on future reports and strive for higher reporting standards.

Preparing annuals?

Busy preparing -or putting the finishing touches to your annual report? Get a rough -or final- draft reviewed by an specialist (working under a non-disclosure agreement). Commission us for a QUICK SCAN or a BROWSE.

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Ratings and Rankings

Annual Report on Annual Reports

Best annual reports

Annual Report on Annual Reports 2019
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The report scan

How is your report doing? How does your annual report score on all evaluation criteria used for the Annual Report on Annual Reports?

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