Benefits and Adoption of Integrated Reporting: Perceptions of the Malaysian Corporate Accountants

Benefits and Adoption of Integrated Reporting: Perceptions of the Malaysian Corporate Accountants

Prem Lal Joshi (Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia), Abdullah Sallehhuddin (Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia), Predeeban Munusamy (Masters in Accounting Graduate, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia) and Ashutosh Deshmukh (Penn State University, Erie, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJKBO.2019100104

Abstract

Integrated reporting (IR) combines financial and other value relevant information of an organization into one report, innovative development in corporate reporting. This study reports the perceptions of accountants regarding benefits and possible adoption of IR in the Malaysian context. The authors used a survey method and received responses from 50 companies listed on the Bursa Malaysia. The statistical analyses provide the following results. IR is not adopted widely but 56% of companies are currently thinking of adopting IR. The top three perceived potential benefits include increased communication, transparency, and the breaking of functional silos. Statistical tests further indicate that large companies show more willingness to adopt IR and are also more aware of the potential benefits. The accountants from large organizations also believe that the quality of financial reporting and compliance practices will improve due to IR adoption. Furthermore, the results suggest that accountants expect Malaysian Institute of Accountants to be a lead agency for the enforcement of IR in Malaysia and also IR to be eventually made a mandatory requirement for corporate reporting. These results should be of interest to the policymakers in countries similar to Malaysia.
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Introduction

An Integrated Reporting (IR) is not a simple aggregation of the financial information and non-financial information into one single document. Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) (2012) defines IR as a single report that combines the financial and narrative information found in the company’s annual report with the nonfinancial information such as environmental issues, social and governance issue, and narratives found in the company’s corporate social responsibility or sustainability report. As such, IR may be considered as a mechanism to enhance the way organizations think, plan and report the outcome of their businesses in a single reporting.

Nylander (2015) contends that IR is a new way of envisioning the business, apart from a profit motive, we need to assess the effects of financial, intellectual, human, social, and natural capitals on the social and environmental values. IIRC (2013) describes IR as a detailed communication on how an organization’s strategy, governance, performance and prospect, in the context of its external environment, lead to the creation of value over the business life period. In the King Report on Governance for South Africa, 2009, IR is defined as an integrated representation of the company’s performance in terms of both its finances and its sustainability., King’s report, in the South African context, pronounces IR as a significant report that enables stakeholders to assess the organization’s prospects for future value creation (IOD, 2012).

The main purpose of an IR is to explain to the investors how an organization creates value over time. The stakeholders by using IR get better insights into the disclosed financial and non-financial information. Additionally, IR also provides more transparency on various topics such as corporate responsibility (Hoque, 2017). The connection between financial performance and non-financial performance is clarified by the IR (Jensen and Berg, 2011). An IR will benefit all stakeholders who are interested in an organization’s ability to create value over time for the employees, customers, legislators, regulators and policymakers (IIRC, 2013). Besides, IR adds value to a company by highlighting how green and ethical values contribute to and drive long-term growth (Nylander, 2015). Given the benefits of IR, adoption of IR will be useful for the investors and stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the perceived benefits of the adoption and willingness for an adoption of IR by the Malaysian corporate accountants.

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