The Annual Report is at times dismissed as a document “read by more people before being published than after.” At the route of this is the suggestion that the report is a meaningless tick-box exercise to please the regulators.
At its best it is far more than this and can provide an excellent tool for all stakeholders to get to grips with the strategy, business model, performance and people involved in their business. It can also provide a format and structure for businesses to scrutinise their current strategy and really understand whether it is the most effective means for achieving their goals. This interrogation can have huge benefits to the business and can help to drive future performance.
So in our opinion with the right team the Annual Report can fulfil its regulatory requirements; communicate accurately with stakeholders and help fundamentally change organisations for the better.
Author: Matthew Bates
Matthew is a highly skilled investor relations professional with considerable knowledge and experience of best practice communication with the City. He has worked in IR for over 12 years, delivering advice and hands-on support through demergers, flotations, the establishment of new IR departments, acquisitions, disposals, and changes of management as well as writing the copy for over 20 Annual Reports. AB and Matthew first worked together in 2014 with Matthew advising on structure and copy-writing for a FTSE250 company.