Non-Financial Reporting Statements
5 tips to prepare Non-Financial Reporting Statements for your company
Preparing the company well in advance and involving all the staff in the process is key for your success
Communicating the company’s environmental, social and economic performance to stakeholders is increasingly necessary to manage trust and reputation. Many organizations produce sustainability reports and Non-Financial Reporting Statements, either by conviction or by regulatory compliance. Whatever the situation of an organization is, starting this process can seem challenging, however, with an adequate preparation it is possible to be efficient and obtain excellent results. At UHY Fay & Co, we have made a brainstorming exercise on our experience helping companies in the process of preparing Non-Financial Reporting Statements and have synthesized 5 recommendations that can be useful to facilitate the process of preparing a statement of non-financial reporting:
- Make a diagnosis of the initial situation: in the process of preparing a report or a statement of non-financial reporting, it is necessary to have clearly identified the departments that should intervene in the preparation of such information, the information systems from which the data for such report will be extracted and the main activities and initiatives of the organization related to the environmental, social and governance impacts of the organization. Having an external consultant specialized in CSR or in non-financial reporting can be useful to determine the roadmap to follow. This process should be carried out in advance to ensure reliable data.
- Selecting an internal Non-financial reporting statement manager: according to our own experience, choosing a person in charge of maintaining contact between the company’s departments and the subsidiaries, usually speeds up the production process sharply. Someone who has the contacts and knows the internal configuration of each department will be vital in facilitating the flow of information. In the case of having the advice of a specialized consultant, this person will be the interlocutor between the company and the consultant, thus speeding up the elaboration and guaranteeing the quality of the final report.
- Optimization of information systems: most organizations have extremely valuable sources of information for data collection. In many cases, with simple adjustments or improvements, it is possible to bring existing information systems into line with the requirements of the non-financial reporting law and with the reporting framework chosen for the report.
- Establishing an internal communication and reporting channel: another fundamental aspect is to adapt internal communication so that the transmission of data and indicators is homogeneous across the different branches and departments of the organizations. In this way, it is important to emphasize that it is not necessary to have a complicated reporting system, but it must be simple and systematic.
- Staff awareness of key aspects of sustainability and CSR: finally, to achieve a successful report or non-financial reporting statement, good internal communication and awareness of all staff about the importance of sustainability initiatives and their benefits to the organization, is key. Likewise, communicating to every worker their role with respect to the data that is recorded, facilitates the collaboration that is so necessary in this process that, by its nature, requires the transversal involvement of multiple stakeholders of the organization.
Although they are simple, these five points mentioned are very useful for any company when preparing non-financial reporting. Both in the elaboration and in the verification of this type of information; anticipation, systematization of information collection, teamwork and constancy are the basis of a good report.
Darío Vidaurre Puente
Sustainability and CSR Consultant