Companies listed on the JSE are years ahead of their global peers when it comes to integrated reporting.

Launching the 2016 integrated report of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Barry Melancon, global chairman of the IIRC, singled out South African companies for adopting the standards of integrated reporting. “In South Africa, all companies listed on the JSE have been doing integrated reporting since 2010,” Melancon said.

According to the IIRC there is a “good bit of progress” in adopting integrated reporting around the world, but it is not the case in the US where only 23 companies are doing integrated reporting.

In France, it’s expected in the next three years their top 40 companies are all going to do integrated reporting. About half do now. In Japan about 300 companies are producing integrated reports.

The IIRC saw increased acceptance of integrated reporting, which reports on financial information, along with other “capitals” to discuss areas such as corporate governance, sustainability, and human capital.

During 2016, the IIRC has nearly doubled the number of emerging best practice examples it is offering to businesses that are considering adopting integrated reporting, with over 400 examples now provided through the IR Examples Database.

Melancon sees a role for CPAs in producing integrated reports. “The profession has been involved throughout,” he said. “Clearly in most companies it’s in the finance function, but not exclusively. One of the capitals is financial capital and another is manufacturing capital. Those you would get in the normal financial report.”

“As integrated reporting becomes more common, there are a lot of aspects of integrated reporting that either the profession would be involved with helping people to produce, or potentially in some parts of the world [provide] some attestation on some of the information,” said Melancon.

In 2018, the IIRC plans to transition to a “global adoption” phase of its strategy, with its sights set on widespread uptake of its framework around the world.