The annual report is dead, long live the annual report
By Staffan Lindgren
Our CEO Staffan Lindgren gives his thoughts on the future of annual reports in the 22nd edition of the Annual Report on Annual Reports by ReportWatch.
The annual report has actually become even more important the last couple of years.
With global trends such as fake news, where facts and figures are ambiguous, companies need to provide their stakeholders with accurate and reliable information. The annual report has been reviewed by auditors; it has been read, approved and sealed by both the board and the management. That makes this document hugely important.
There is no other content produced and published from a company that has that level of authenticity. With that in mind, the annual report needs to be adapted to today’s reality -i.e. how people find and consume content- to keep being relevant. Almost all professional stakeholders read the annual report on screen today, according to our research, so why isn’t it yet designed for this?
Video and voice are the most efficient carriers of messages that convey more than hard facts. It is perfect for topics such as strategy, values and corporate behaviour. And lastly, why do we stick it in a virtual “cupboard” on our sites and hiding it for our users? We have an obligation to share the content and make sure that it’s found at any time where people are looking for what we have to say. This goes beyond archiving a pdf file."
This article was published in the 22nd edition of the Annual Report on Annual Reports, the independent global survey on annual reporting practice prepared by the e.com team and produced by ReportWatch.