13 Jun 2013

Study finds huge variation in detail of annual reports

9:02 am on 13 June 2013

A study of the annual reports of 100 listed or large companies published in 2012 has found a huge variation in the amount of commentary companies provide

Deloitte says the commentary rangers from none to 74 pages.

Technical partner Denise Hodgkins says among the findings was that only 22 companies gave detailed disclosure of their objectives and strategies, and only 13 companies explained how their success, or otherwise, would be measured.

She says that sort of information is appropriate in the annual report which should have a succinct summary of what the company is about and how it is doing.

Ms Hodgkins says she was surprised that only 16 of the companies provided any information on the types of risks they face and only four gave detailed information on the topic.

She says although very detailed information on risk is not needed in the annual report, some discussion on risk is appropriate.

The Deloitte study, which is carried out annually, also looked at how much companies disclosed about diversity.

From December last year, companies have been required to included information about the gender composition of directors and executives and details on any existing diversity policy.

The study found only 13% of board members and 14% of executives were women.