Building Stakeholder Confidence Through Integrated Reporting

By: Paul Druckman

Workiva’s 2024 Executive Benchmark Survey on Integrated Reporting sheds light on many of the dynamic challenges and opportunities shaping the landscape of corporate reporting. First and foremost, the survey underscores the prevailing sentiment among executives and institutional investors that integrated financial and ESG reporting is a fundamental necessity for providing stakeholders with a comprehensive understanding of a company’s performance. With nearly 90% of institutional investors saying they’re more likely to invest in companies that obtain assurance of ESG data and more than 80% of executives agreeing third-party assurance is critical to a company’s risk management strategy, the survey also reinforces the importance of third-party assurance—not only for regulatory compliance but perhaps more importantly, for instilling confidence in executives and investors alike. Incidentally, executives from companies that use software for integrated financial and ESG reporting are more confident in their companies’ ability to comply with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed climate disclosure rules and the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. By and large, executives see technology as a key component of successful reporting programs: 83% agree generative AI will help companies comply with regulatory requirements and 89% plan to use generative AI to augment reporting staff in the next five years. However, they also acknowledge its risks. Amidst the recent unprecedented embrace of generative AI, for example, there was a tendency to overlook the need for a robust technical foundation and meticulous data processes to realize its full potential. Without this foundation, the outcomes of generative AI systems may be unreliable and prone to error, undermining the value they could otherwise provide. As executives and their reporting teams adopt all forms of new technology, they must not lose sight of the importance of human oversight and domain expertise. The success of financial transformation and the future of corporate reporting is dependent on knowledgeable partners and their thoughtful implementation of innovative, best-in-class tools.

Read full report here: Workiva’s 2024 Executive Benchmark Survey on Integrated Reporting 


About Paul Druckman

Paul Druckman is a member of Workiva’s ESG advisory council and chairman of the World Benchmarking Alliance. He also serves as an advisory member on the Integrated Reporting and Connectivity Council of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation and previously served as the chief executive officer of the International Integrated Reporting Council.