by Ayanda Vilakazi

The King reported

Professor Mervyn King meets with high level executives

The King reported
Professor Mervyn King meets with high level executives

Corporate reporting structures have been moved into the 21st century through landmark steps to launch fully integrated reporting across organisations.

Integrated reporting expert, Professor Mervyn King, was recently hosted at a workshop where he met with some high level executives who decide on their organisation’s direction in streamlining its approach to reporting information.

"Professor King is not only a thought leader, but has immense practical knowledge, particularly through his production of the King reports on governance, of how to absorb and integrate vast amounts of data and link it directly to strategy, governance, finance and operations. His contribution to the future direction of the CDC is going to be invaluable.” 

THE Coega Development Corporation (CDC) head of marketing and communications, Ayanda Vilakazi. 

King, senior counsel and former judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, is a pioneer in the study of integrated reporting, Chair of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) serving as chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa, which produced King I, II and III, and first vice-president of the Institute of Directors Southern Africa. 

He has shown how various factors – globalisation, complexity, growing policy activity in response to financial, governance and other crises, heightened expectations of corporate transparency and accountability, actual and prospective resource scarcity, population growth, and environmental concerns – should be reflected in contemporary reporting to enable better organisational practice. 

“Long reports no longer benefit organisations if they do not relate back to the overall sustainability, global vision and strategy of organisations. Reporting has generally developed in silos, and key links between strategy, governance, operations and financial and non-financial performance are streamlined,” said King. 

“A framework is needed to draw together separate and disconnected strands of reporting into a coherent, integrated whole, and demonstrate an organisation’s ability to create value now and in the future – this is what I would like to achieve working with the executives – a plan for how broad-range sustainability, and reporting thereon – can be woven into the very fibre of the organisation’s practice.”

The benefits to the executives will be immense, with CDC sustainability coordinator, Johann Brink saying reporting influences organisational behaviour and therefore needs to filter down from the top but also come from the bottom-up.

“Effectively, integrated reporting will change the entire organisation and ensure that strategy is intimately linked with daily practice,” said Brink. “The CDC has long focused on sustainability – but the concept has become more all-encompassing, moving from connotations around financial and environmental sustainability to more diverse applications of total organisational integration for overall sustainability.”

Integrated reporting brings together material information about an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects in a way that reflects the commercial, social and environmental context within which it operates. It provides a clear and concise representation of how an organisation demonstrates stewardship and how it creates and sustains value.

There is talk of a global pilot of the International Integrated Reporting Council’s new framework, geared to facilitate the development of reporting over the coming decades. 

The core objective of the framework is to guide organisations on communicating the broad set of information needed by investors and other stakeholders to assess the organisation’s long-term prospects in a clear, concise, connected and comparable format. “This will enable   organisations, their investors and others to make better short- and long-term decisions,” added Vilakazi.

 

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