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It’s never too early to start planning!

Sponsored content: An annual report is no longer just a financial statement; in fact a financial statement would not do your organisation justice – I’m sure you all know that.

To be relevant and engaging in this customer driven world whilst still maintaining a focus on governance is no mean feat. For financial year 2020, you will potentially need to consider the impact of bushfires, COVID-19, a possible slump in the economy (unless you produce hand sanitiser!), a focus on modern slavery as well as the climate impact of your organisation – just to name a few.

To tell this story effectively, a clear explanation of how your organisation has dealt with what 2020 has brought us so far are some of the things your shareholders, members and your employees will be interested in.

In the lead up to the reporting season (doesn’t it come around quickly), it will be important that you can reflect on the year that was and articulate how your organisation may have introduced BCP, cared for your teams and the public as you managed the financial impact on your organisation of a world in self isolation. I know my organisation has a plan B,C,D and E and I think that’s an important risk and governance story in itself.

Australasian Reporting Awards have been reviewing, assessing, judging and awarding annual reports for the last 70 years, aiming to improve the standards of reporting. Good reporting requires an open willing attitude, attention to detail and accuracy, a sensitivity and responsiveness to stakeholders, a willingness to put in the effort to communicate effectively and a commitment to achieving and improving upon standards.

It’s about story telling, engaging your audience and lifting the lid on the very elusive word, ‘transparency’. Unfortunately, annual reports tend to be read with a little scepticism and in the world where there is a lack of trust across all industries; we need to get better and communicating what’s important to the organisation.

In 2019 Sanford Limited won the ARA Report of the year – check out why they won!

Sanford Limited is the largest seafood company in New Zealand with fishing and aquaculture operations around the country. Although a small fishing company by international standards Sanford’s vision is to be the ‘best’ seafood company in the world by focussing on providing sustainable value. Sanford’s approach to its business activities inspired by this vision has led to Sanford being very successful in the ARA Awards. Since first entering the Awards in 2015 Sanford has received five consecutive Gold Awards and has won the ARA Awards for Integrated Reporting and Sustainability Reporting, and the Joint ARA-Hong Kong Management Association Award for Sustainability Reporting. The ARA judges commented “Sanford’s three elements of success, care passion and integrity, are clearly demonstrated in its 2018 annual report. Great care has been taken to communicate the company’s vision and the strategic outcomes that sustain it. Sanford’s passion for sustainability, the environment and integrity is very evident. Rather than shying away from poor results or bad news they seize on them as an opportunity to explain how they intend to do better.”

I LOVE this article that has amazing storytelling ideas and don’t forget data visualisation and how it can transform peoples understanding of detailed numbers Consider how you want your annual report to be presented – printed, digital format or an integrated version of both.

Annual reports provide information on the organisational mission, their annual plan and priorities and it summarizes achievements in the past year. Make sure people want to read yours!

Flexible work and the hybrid AGM: Coronavirus (COVID-19) set to be a catalyst for faster pace of workplace change

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