Accounting Standards

‘Integrated thinking’ key to business survival during Covid, says ACCA

The international accountancy body’s recent report identifies a path forward for financial organisations coming out of the pandemic

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ (ACCA) recent analysis of 14 companies’ annual integrated reports identified that “integrated thinking” helped organisations remain “resilient” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the international accountancy body’s report, there are clear opportunities in integrated thinking to assist value creation and reporting standards.

Titled ‘Invisible threads: communicating integrated thinking’, the report emphasises progress made by organisations over the past year, alongside recent challenges which include in financial reporting, which include climate-related disclosures.

Yen-pei Chen, author of ‘Invisible threads’ and ACCA’s Integrated Reporting subject matter expert, said: “Our research shows that integrated thinking – or at least its representation in the report – is still developing within businesses, making it difficult to communicate a truly embedded management approach.

“The consistency and connectivity between the narrative report and the financial statements will come under increasing scrutiny as the IFRS Foundation sets up a Sustainability Standards Board to operate alongside the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).”

Helen Brand, ACCA’s chief executive, said: “With organisational resilience tested to unprecedented limits over the past year, readers of annual reports need transparent insights now more than ever.

“By re-examining how they communicate their intention and thinking in the most comprehensible way, reporters have an important opportunity to forge firmer connections with their stakeholders, on whom they rely for their continued existence.”

She added: “And, through telling their corporate story with clarity and conviction, show how business can be a force for positive progress in a changed, and changing, world.”

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