28 May 2015
Investors welcome digital reporting where it is helpful in meeting their needs for corporate information, finds the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).
The findings have emerged from the FRC’s Financial Reporting Lab (Lab), which published ‘Digital Present’, its report on investors’ views on digital communication used by companies in their corporate reporting.
The Lab found:
The annual report and its contents are of paramount importance to investors. The pdf file, with its ‘search’ capabilities, is the preferred format for digital annual reports;
A pdf offers a range of ways to blend the best of paper and digital formats;
Companies could make better use of pdf files by thinking about their presentation on screen, keeping them simple, and optimising them for searching; and
Investors need to absorb information on many companies in an efficient manner. Digital communications are of most interest to investors when they bring new information to investors’ attention while avoiding duplication, and provide clarity on the purpose of each digital channel or tool and the scope of information it contains.
The report shares practical suggestions on how companies can improve their digital corporate reporting across a range of communication channels, tools and pdf annual reports.
Sue Harding, Director of the Financial Reporting Lab, said: ‘Investors have shown they are open to innovation when it meets their needs to access information relevant to their analysis, across companies and time. To enhance current digital reporting methods and innovate further, it will be important to build on the attributes identified as being most helpful. We will do this in our next phase of work on the Digital Future.’