Emerging trends in reporting: An analysis of integrated reporting practices by South African top 40 listed companies
JSE Top 40 companies
Economics as a science
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AbstractCompanies should behave as responsible corporate citizens and conduct their business in a manner that meets existing needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Thus they should protect, enhance and invest in the wellbeing of the economy, society and the natural environment in which they do business. Annual reporting format of financial reporting does not take cognisance of stakeholders’ needs in this regard, and there is a need for reporting that brings together financial, sustainability, management commentary and governance aspects in a coherent, simplified and concise manner. The objective of this paper is twofold: it aims, firstly, to provide a brief overview of the development of integrated reporting, and, secondly, to provide evidence regarding the integrated reporting practices at the largest listed companies in South Africa. This is done through a literature review of current corporate governance and sustainability developments, supported by empirical evidence obtained from assessing, through content analysis, the integrated reporting practices of the top 40 companies on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, South Africa. The study found that although integrated reporting is evolving, inconsistencies still exist regarding the process to follow, format, content, and value thereof. The study is of specific relevance for Africa with its rich mineral resources, as it is of vital importance that companies that do business on the continent behave as responsible corporate citizens, respect the environment and society, and provide accurate, reliable and credible reporting on their financial and sustainability performance to all of their stakeholders in a simplified and integrated manner.