Published on: Sep 01, 2012
Roundtable hosted by Two Tomorrows examines implications of rise of integrated reporting for report assurance
On 10th July, Two Tomorrows hosted another in its series of roundtables which gather companies together in an informal and confidential setting to discuss topical sustainability and corporate responsibility issues.
The latest roundtable, Integrated Assurance, brought together guest speakers from Coca-Cola Enterprises and RWE npower along with delegates from BAE Systems, Imperial Tobacco, Novo Nordisk, Direct Line Group and ACCA.
Key points raised during the roundtable included:
- There is urgent need for alignment of assurance standards with integrated reporting.
- One of the big challenges of integrated reporting and assurance is alignment of timetables, especially for data collection, between the company's sustainability and financial accounting functions
- Reporting organisations and report users need independent opinion not only on whether the most material issues are covered by the report, but also whether the company’s approach to these issues is sufficient given the nature of the sustainability challenges and the levels of stakeholder expectation and concern.
- Procedures and standardised approaches to this type of assurance do not yet exist, but that is no reason for leading companies not to work alongside assurance providers to develop suitable criteria. There are real opportunities for leadership and innovation for those companies seeking greater value and credibility through assurance.
- Most CR reports are written for an informed audience. This will change in integrated reporting