The research behind the Annual Report on Annual Reports consists of a reviewing phase, where the team reads and makes notes on how companies perform across five sections. This is the base for the final rating and ranking, made with support from an external panel.
The evaluation criteria have consistently been based on a well-balanced perspective blending financial and operational analysis, short- and long-term performance aspects, strategy and operations, visual and textual elements, share- and broader stakeholders’ issues, and information content and communication style – whether in print or online. It is both about the content of the reports and how this information is presented.
Report assessment criteria have to cope with trends, challenges, investors, and other stakeholders’ expectations. Therefore, they have evolved and are updated and upgraded regularly.
For this year's evaluation, the following five areas were included:
- Communication & style
- Operations & sustainability
- Strategy & leadership
- Figures & financials
- Investors & governance
In our research for Webranking by Comprend, we ask analysts, investors, and business journalists how they read annual reports, which is also of great interest for ReportWatch. The vast majority replied that they read reports on a screen, which we take into consideration when working on the rating, regardless of whether it is a PDF or an online report. When an online report has been made available, it has, of course, been taken into consideration, but in most cases we have read both the PDF and online version.
The rating scale
The top 400 reports of the 1,000 included in this year's Annual Report on Annual Reports have been rated according to the following scale:
The list of companies
The 1,000 companies are selected from the largest companies around the world. Companies can also apply to enter the list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.