In its comment letter to the International Integrated Reporting Committee on its discussion paper, Towards Integrated Reporting: Communicating Value in the 21st Century, the American Institute of CPAs supported an international framework for integrated reporting and encouraged the IIRC to leverage the preliminary, high level Enhanced Business Reporting Framework.
“As a founder of the Enhanced Business Reporting Consortium and participant in the World Intellectual Capital Initiative, the AICPA continues to promote the adoption of a common, open standard, global framework for more relevant business reporting, Susan Coffey, CPA, AICPA senior vice president for public practice and global alliances, said in the Dec. 14, 2011 comment letter.
“We agree that there is a need for a new reporting model that brings together the currently disparate pieces and perspectives of business reporting to produce in a more holistic external presentation of decision-useful information for investors and other stakeholders,” Coffey said.
Coffey said the framework should allow organizations to find and report common framework elements most relevant to their stakeholders and that the elements should be presented so that they are comparable across companies and time periods. In order to improve transparency and provide easy access to, and analysis of, integrated reporting disclosures, the framework should allow the creation of standardized integrated reports using data standards such as XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language.
The initial focus of integrated reporting should be on larger companies and the needs of their investors, Coffey said, which would serve as “an important core foundation that can be leveraged over time to meet the needs of all companies and audiences.”
For more information, read the AICPA Insight blog by Ami Beers, CPA, AICPA manager for business reporting, assurance and advisory services, and visit the Enhanced Business Reporting section on AICPA.org.