Report essentials

Capturing the essence of reporting
Helping report makers, readers and users think and act
It is made up of analyses and editorial papers, and of articles written by report specialists, corporate reporters, analysts, ... on all aspects of modern reporting practice: stakeholders, investors, corporate, financials, strategy, management, communication, online, marketing, audit, risk, design, etc.
119 common errors in company valuations
A collection and classification of 119 errors seen in company valuations performed by financial analysts, investment banks and financial consultants. read more
33 Don'ts - How NOT to use an annual report effectively?
Not covering properly, cutting too many trees, highlighting partially, rerunning the story or following the fashion... There are many ways not to produce a better or greater annual read more
A definition of shareholder value creation
A company creates value for the shareholders when the shareholder return exceeds the required return to equity. read more
A to Z of corporate communication
I'd like to be able to say these 26 points are all you need to know about corporate communications, but that would not only be a bit arrogant, but plain wrong. It is a good start though. read more
After Ericsson. The case for interim reporting -and against quarterly profit warnings.
What is happening to the Swedish company Ericsson illustrates once again the tyranny of short-termism and its serious damage to a company's business, shareholders, management, and reputation.
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All to play for - Making the most of what's on offer
Audiences now expect so much more in terms of choice, both in delivery and content. By using today's unprecedented selection of channels and platforms to deliver the facts, figures and investment case, companies can add real value and increase the overall effectiveness of their communication. read more
Annual reports: Towards integrated horizons and integrated thinking
The traditional annual report as it stands now is a broken model. It no longer serves its purpose. Companies should embark on integrated reporting and an ongoing live report. (Dart Group workshop, Amsterdam)
Are big sustainability targets the target?
Exploring the buzz around big targets in sustainability strategy. This Salterbaxter special report explores where some of the leading businesses are positioned on targets, and offer tricks to learn. read more
Bank statements: (no more) business as usual?
It's about -and from- bankers, liars, a rogue trader, birds of one feather, brothers in lies. Things read and heard these last months that we would hate to see reported in annuals read more
Beyond the pdf: Alternative ways to present content effectively on your IR website
Best practice alternatives for presenting key contents in different formats to the usual ways (read: pdf or long monotonous scrolls of text) on IR websites read more
Bless the annual report, for we have sinned
Annual reports are essential guidebooks to understanding a company and are as such essential starting points and milestones. Yet, not all annual reports live up to this promise. read more
Clarity, story and strategy
Good annual report examples... read more
Communication Breakdown
As many of you will read this commentary between the beep of a mobile phone and a quick surf in cyberspace, our statement might sound as a surprise. Or a paradox. But haven't you heard about the information paradox? read more
Corporate substance and relevance –or another definition of "CSR"
Getting back to the basics 1-0-1 of what an annual report should be about: a corporate communication vehicle based on and delivering substance (and if possible making this in style), and being relevant on a number of issues and questions often overlooked these days. read more
Current trends in annual reporting
Online? Integrated? Homogeneous? Glocal? Shorter? Looking forward? What are the latest trends in annual reporting? read more
Cut-and-paste. Many online reports still don't measure up
Too many online annuals are still just a copy-and-paste of printed versions. read more
Everybody went low
Yes, and besides all other book-keeping, cooking, and worrying aspects, Enron, Global Crossing, Qwest, WorldCom and dozens (hundreds?) of others represent first and foremost a crisis in REPORTING. read more
Getting Investors Ready For Your New CEO
Finding the next CEO or chairman is one issue. Communicating to investors that the board of directors has a sound plan for succession is quite another entirely. read more
Getting ready for the IPO: 10 investor relations "Do's" before the pricing
For months leading up to your filing, you probably have been singularly focused on creating that massive tome. You still need to hit the ground running with IR as soon as your company prices its offering. Here are 10 "to do" items before then. read more
Global Crossing
About Canadian banks' best reports... and other banks' less good ones, Scandinavian leaders of the pack, German ways, Dutch showpieces, French cookies, Swiss pills, and the "New Wild West". read more
How -and why- they make it. "A" reports and others
Reporting is a strategic issue. A recent survey showed 60% of institutional investors saying that improved disclosure would boost management's credibility, increase the number of long-term shareholders, and result in higher share prices. read more
How are financials reported?
Is there still a need for an annual report, especially when considering the role of the internet? Has financial reporting changed accordingly? For the better or for the worse? A quick look at the ebb and flow in the financial sections of annual reports gives a somewhat mixed picture. read more
How do companies effectively use their website for investor relations?
Annual Reports are still printed publications. From the first look it might appear that nothing has happened to the Annual Reports (AR) in the electronic age. This is not true. read more
How important is the annual report today?
We have asked a few report makers, advisers, designers, specialists, users from all around the world how important they find the annual report today; if it is still relevant, to what extent and how. read more
In search of clarity in corporate reporting (I)
How well do companies put into words their strategic thinking. read more
In search of clarity in corporate reporting (II)
How well do companies put into words their strategic thinking. read more
Inspiration. A report mix from mines, bikes, tyres, oil and gas
Annuals that stand out, in my view, because of exceptional content or writing, or because they add real value online. Annual reports with an approach that might inspire your thinking next time round! read more
IR best practice - Get to know the buy-side
Dealing with the buy-side has been pushed to the top of the priority list for IROs – especially since there has been a slow decline in the number of sell-side analysts over the past few years. read more
IR website best practices to help improve online communications
Why having a better IR website matters. 75% of institutional investors and analysts use corporate websites on a weekly basis. Give stakeholders context, insight and interactive tools... read more
Is the annual report still a worthwhile job?
Annual reports have improved these last years. This makes companies communication and investor relations teams' job more difficult to differentiate and bring strategic value to report audiences read more
It's time to rethink IR
The problem with investor relations today is that it continues to get more primitive as the markets keep getting more sophisticated. read more
Levering technology: Investors' use of online communications and social media
How modern investors use corporate websites, social media, financial blogs. What is the engagement, and the return on investment. read more
Making the most of corporate disclosure
Disclosure requirements are getting more onerous Reality is, though, that despite the recent scandals, few companies have anything to hide. What to do then? Look at disclosure as an opportunity. read more
New guidelines for online investor presentations
Many hours and considerable expense is incurred by IR departments and company executives in preparing and delivering investor presentations. These guidelines show how IR departments can get more people to use their online presentations. read more
Online first - The future of annual reports?
There's currently a lot of lively discussion about whether the online report will replace the printed report. Whilst there doesn't seem to be any definitive answer, one thing is certain: more and more companies are now providing an html online version. read more
Online IR: How to build investor confidence through effective online communications?
Case stories, examples of best practice, critical improvements, and practical advice. read more
Putting integrated reporting in perspective
Integrated reporting presents some fundamental challenges both to reporters and to readers. It could be difficult to assure the legitimacy of claims made in integrated reports, at least until auditing and assurance systems transform well beyond where they are now. read more
Reforming reporting with non-financials
Dissatisfaction with the current state of financial reporting is increasingly expressed by investors. However, reports tend to be equally deficient on nonfinancials. A major challenge facing corporate management is how to grasp their importance. read more
Reporting for duty
In Europe, many CFOs say annual reports are glorified marketing brochures. If they're right, why bother with them?
Reporting in tough times?
Downturn, credit crunch, inflation (or stagflation), subprime and mortgage mess, mergers, acquisitions, delistings, energy prices, food crisis, long-term sustainability vs. quarterly guidance, corporate responsibility vs. financial irresponsibility... These are tough times for report makers. How do the best -and others- deal with the challenge –and still make the annual report a beacon. read more
Sri Lanka is still about tea and also has interesting annual reports
Who has not heard about or drunk Ceylon tea? But Sri Lanka has more in store. Good annual -and sustainability- reports. read more
Taking a deep dive into IR myths
The main purpose of IR is to ensure company’s shares are fairly valued by disseminating key information that investors use to make smart decisions. Perhaps because of its relative obscurity, there are a lot of myths about IR floating around out there. Let’s do a bit of myth-busting. read more
Ten badly explained topics in corporate finance books
From the WACC equation to the equity premium; from EVA to historical betas, a decoding exercise. read more
The annual report is still alive -- Check it out!
Globalization and a number of other trends make the reporting challenge more daunting, report makers' job more difficult, and evaluation or comparison more complicated. Why is the annual report still alive? read more
The annual report: a reputation management vehicle
The report has evolved from a financial information conveyor to a reputation management device. It has the power to influence the way companies are perceived by those that matter to them. read more
The critical Cs of investor relations
nvestors are bombarded with information. It's essential to keep a number of critical Cs top of mind to effectively communicate your company's story and messages to them. read more
The equity (or market risk) premium: 150 text books reviewed
The equity premium (also called market risk premium, equity risk premium, market premium and risk premium), is one of the most important and discussed, but elusive parameters in finance. 150 textbooks reviewed read more
The evolution of the annual report: From financial report to corporate persona
The annual report is one of the most widely read communications your company will release. Annual reports have evolved over the years from a dry vehicle for conveying information about a company’s financials to a critical tool to communicate corporate strategy. read more
The most common errors in valuations
The methods that are conceptually correct are those based on cash flow discounting. The author briefly comments on other methods since - even though they are conceptually incorrect - they continue to be used frequently. read more
The power of the letter
The Letter to Shareholders is still the most-read portion of the annual report.
A few Do's and Don'ts by an expert in investor relations. read more
The printed annual report: obsolete or not?
What is the trend? Will companies in the near future only present the annual report electronically to save costs and minimize the ecological footprint read more
The rise and fall of American annual reports
The tune is now: "Just another 10-K", not made to be read in a New York minute. Hardly jazzy, that is. What happened between the yesterday's wow and today's yawn? read more
The written word
Too many annual reports are written in a language that I refer to as 'annual report speak', a financial legalistic language that automatically assumes that the reader has a PhD in finance and already possesses an in-depth knowledge of the company, what it does and the markets that it operates in. read more
Think outside the A4 box
What A4 says is 'safe, practical, static, the same, dull...' We cannot claim to be different, and then just communicate the same way... read more
Tips for reading annual reports for investors
How you read an annual report depends on your purpose. As an investor, your purpose may be to assess profitability, survivability, dividends, etc. Reviewing a company yearly is the minimum diligence required. read more
Trying to raise capital? Even non-listed companies should think investor relations
We have all heard about the importance for companies - unlisted (or private) and listed (or public) - to have a public relations strategy. We rarely hear, however, about the need for an investor relations strategy for privately held companies. read more
Valuation and common sense (6th edition - Downloadable for free)
The book explains the nuances of different valuation methods and provides the reader with the tools for analyzing and valuing any business, no matter how complex. The book uses 414 figures, 514 tables, 180 examples and more than 1,000 comments from readers to help the reader absorb these concepts.
Views about the present and future of annual reports
Twelve report(ing) specialists are asked how they see the present and future of annual reporting. Their answers are here.
WACC: Definitions, misconceptions and errors
The WACC is neither a cost nor a required return: it is a weighted average of a cost and a required return. To refer to the WACC as the "cost of capital" may be misleading because it is not a cost. read more
Web reporting - How to write an addictive introduction
Coaxing readers to your online content with snappy and informative headlines is pointless if you fail to follow up with an equally well-crafted intro. read more
What buy-side investors regard as important
The shifting agenda in corporate reporting agenda, driven by changing investor demands, is palpable for everyone involved This is a difficult audience to research and their terms of reference are often quite narrow but the responses are worthy of note. read more
What do they do? Issues in today's reporting
Reporting is, more than ever, a delicate balance. Between current shareholders and potential investors, freedom of speech and compliance, substance and style, stockholders and stakeholders, the talk and the walk. read more
Where have all the report designers gone?
Many of the reports are full of very good content and some are well written, however the overriding factor for me this year has been the lack of really outstanding design. Designwise, not that many of the reports are truly compelling or engaging. read more
Which channel do listed companies use for their annual reporting? team has carried out a survey about the use of websites for annual reporting. read more
Why is the annual report not yet extinct?
In an article titled "The death of the annual report" , James Guthrie wrote: "The annual report may not yet be extinct but it is certainly an endangered species.". The death hasn't happened yet. Why? read more
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Best annual reports

Annual Report on Annual Reports 2018

Report pick

December 2017: Phoenix Mecano
Phoenix Mecano
Stein am Rhein, Switzerland « View our previous picks

Financial sector annual reports

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Mike 4 faces's co-founder and ReportWatch kingpin Mike Guillaume wears a few hats, including financial reporting specialist and international economist, and has therefore good vantage points for monitoring companies, reports and management; as well as for watching economies and economics work (or not). Learn more about Mike's experience and expertise here. Read about Mike's work and views, including his recent book "The Seven Deadly Sins of Capitalism", on