Standards setters start work on corporate reporting alignment

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue (CRD), a group of major international corporate reporting standard setters and framework providers, has announced a two-year project focused on driving better alignment in the corporate reporting landscape

CRD participants, who include the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, say they are seeking to drive better alignment of sustainability reporting frameworks, as well as with frameworks that promote further integration between non-financial and financial reporting.

Other participants are the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council,  the International Organization for Standardization, and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, while the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) participates as an observer.

The new project will see participants map their respective sustainability standards and frameworks to identify the commonalities and differences between them, jointly refining and continuously improving overlapping disclosures and data points to achieve better alignment, taking into account the different focuses, audiences and governance procedures. Participants will identify how non-financial metrics relate to financial outcomes and how this can be integrated in mainstream reports.

Launched four years ago, CRD participants have already adopted a statement of common principles of materiality, developed a common map of the reporting landscape, and took a common position in support of the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).

Ian Mackintosh, CRD chair, said: ‘The different elements of the corporate reporting system are not working as harmoniously as possible, with the result being that corporate reporting can be seen to pursue conflicting objectives, under disjointed definitions with unclear aims.

‘There is a renewed urgency to drive better alignment that can combat reporting fatigue, reduce burden and enable more effective corporate reporting. Today, the participants of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue have made clear their commitment to delivering this.’

The initial output from the project is expected in Q3 2019. This work will include identifying how non-financial metrics relate to financial outcomes, explain how the TCFD recommendations should be integrated in mainstream reports and outline preparations for a next phase during which the framework providers will align their metrics where possible across all their reporting frameworks.

Corporate Reporting Dialogue: Better Alignment Project is here

Report by Pat Sweet 

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