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Integrated reporting by South African companies: a case study

Integrated reporting by South African companies: a case study PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to report on the long-term effect of integrated reporting on the quality of information. Investors and stakeholders rely on high-quality integrated reports to obtain social, environmental and ethical information for decision-making. A striking weakness found in recent research on integrated reports is the way certain items of social, environmental and ethical information are excluded while other items are repeated. There is accordingly much confusion, clutter and fragmentation in the integrated reporting landscape.Design/methodology/approachThrough a detailed content review of the information companies report on, more insight can be gained into this question five years after the mandatory implementation of King III, which requires companies to provide integrated reports. This study used a similar approach to that of Solomon and Maroun (2012), reviewing the integrated reports of four companies with high social and environmental impact, over a period of three years (2012 to 2014).FindingsThe companies’ integrated reports were reviewed in terms of social, environmental and ethical items. The results indicate that there has been a distinct decrease in the amount of information provided in integrated reports but, more importantly, there still exists significant uncertainty as to the amount of reporting that is required.Originality/valueThe results of this study prove that regulators may have to provide more detailed guidelines as to the reporting duties of companies. It also indicates to managers that their approach to integrated reporting may have to be revised to ensure useful information is provided to stakeholders. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Meditari Accountancy Research Emerald Publishing

Integrated reporting by South African companies: a case study

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References (37)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2049-372X
DOI
10.1108/MEDAR-03-2016-0052
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to report on the long-term effect of integrated reporting on the quality of information. Investors and stakeholders rely on high-quality integrated reports to obtain social, environmental and ethical information for decision-making. A striking weakness found in recent research on integrated reports is the way certain items of social, environmental and ethical information are excluded while other items are repeated. There is accordingly much confusion, clutter and fragmentation in the integrated reporting landscape.Design/methodology/approachThrough a detailed content review of the information companies report on, more insight can be gained into this question five years after the mandatory implementation of King III, which requires companies to provide integrated reports. This study used a similar approach to that of Solomon and Maroun (2012), reviewing the integrated reports of four companies with high social and environmental impact, over a period of three years (2012 to 2014).FindingsThe companies’ integrated reports were reviewed in terms of social, environmental and ethical items. The results indicate that there has been a distinct decrease in the amount of information provided in integrated reports but, more importantly, there still exists significant uncertainty as to the amount of reporting that is required.Originality/valueThe results of this study prove that regulators may have to provide more detailed guidelines as to the reporting duties of companies. It also indicates to managers that their approach to integrated reporting may have to be revised to ensure useful information is provided to stakeholders.

Journal

Meditari Accountancy ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 2, 2017

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