Just a few months prior to the release of Epstein and Yuthas’ book, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC*) published a conceptual framework for the preparation of a concise, user-oriented “Integrated Report”. Integrated Reporting demonstrates the linkages between an organization’s strategy, governance and financial performance and the social, environmental and economic context within which organisations operate. By reinforcing these connections, Integrated Reporting aims to help organisations make more appropriate decisions to achieve outcomes and enable stakeholders to understand how an organization is really performing.
The framework was developed by some of the major international parties involved in corporate reporting. It aims to address the limitations with the Annual Reports that tend to be narrow in scope and compliance-orientated in nature, making it hard for the reader to understand whether desired outcomes are being achieved. Integrated Reporting places more emphasis on the most material aspects of performance. It looks at both the story (the narrative) and the numbers (quantitative metrics) and considers the environmental, social, human, intellectual and governance capital (the resources and relationships) that are available to an organization and their interlinkages.
While the Integrated Reporting framework was originally developed for large corporations, because of its emphasis on outcomes, it is a useful reporting framework for not-for-profit organisations. It addresses the problems of existing measurement approaches which are based on short-term input/output measures and tend to undervalue achievement on outcomes that are non-financial and difficult to quantify.
Academic Director, the Centre for Social Impact
*The International Integrated Reporting Council is a “global coalition of regulators, investors, companies, standard setters, the accounting profession and NGOs”