Driving Transformation towards Integrated Reporting
Shifting to integrated reporting was not a difficult choice for Mazars. As a professional services firm, we have long-held a philosophy that being transparent is fundamental to sustainable business performance and producing an integrated report underpins this value. So taking this holistic approach for the first time last year was a very fitting next step for us.
Our most recent work on integrated reporting stems from our engagement with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), beginning in 2013. Initially organising workshops advocating the adoption of integrated reporting in French-speaking countries, our responsibilities evolved into contributing to the French adaptation of the international reporting framework and various working papers on <IR> implementation in businesses. As a result, we gained a close understanding of what was needed in order to produce an integrated report. More importantly, however, we understood the conditions required for a prosperous integrated reporting and integrated thinking environment.
In being an active supporter of , it was important for us as an audit and advisory fi rm to apply the concept of integrated reporting to ourselves. In 2014, Mazars received the backing of the Board of Directors to embark on a three-year integrated reporting process. Preliminary work has involved collecting the information required to produce an integrated report and establishing the connections between how we use our resources and how we create value.
Initial indications are that by supporting this initiative, we have already experienced a number of benefits internally. It has not only encouraged exchanges between departments that were not taking place before, but has helped remove barriers and opened the way for new ideas and actions. In terms of external benefits, by going through the process and assessing all of our impacts, we now have first-hand experience to pass on to clients.
Mazars facilitates the Integrated Reporting Insurance Network under the lead of Aegon and Generali. The network was created to understand how integrated thinking and integrated reporting can help insurance and reinsurance companies to create value for their stakeholders. Over 15 insurers from around the world are currently involved in the network and wider participation is welcomed.
Taking these first steps ensures that we are properly equipped and credible when our clients come to us asking for support. It also reaffirms our belief that this is indeed the future of corporate reporting. While we recognise that we are still on the path of our integrated reporting journey and have plenty yet to learn, our experience with this first integrated report has demonstrated that we are certainly heading in the right direction.
Jean-Luc Barlet. Chief Compliance Officer and Leader of Integrated Reporting Core Team. Mazars.
Further reading on the topic: Mazars’ First Integrated Annual Report