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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Ameeta Jain, Monica Keneley and Dianne Thomson

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in six large banks each from Japan, China, Australia and India over the period of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in six large banks each from Japan, China, Australia and India over the period of 2005-2011.

Design/methodology/approach

CSR and banks’ annual reports and websites were analysed using a comprehensive disclosure framework to evaluate the themes of ethical standards, extent of CSR reporting, environment, products, community, employees, supply chain management and benchmarking.

Findings

Over the seven years, bank CSR disclosure improved in all four countries. Australian banks were found to have the best scores and Indian banks demonstrated maximum improvement. Despite the absence of legislative requirements or standards for CSR, this paper finds that CSR reporting continued to improve in quality and quantity in the region on a purely voluntary basis.

Research limitations/implications

This study indicates that financial institutions have a commitment to CSR activities. The comparison between financial institutions in developed and developing economies suggests that the motivation for such activities is complex. A review of the studied banks suggests that strategic rather than economic drivers are an important influence.

Practical implications

Asia-Pacific Governments need not mandate bank CSR reporting standards as the banks improved their CSR reporting consistently over the seven years despite the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Originality/value

A disclosure framework index is used to assess the comprehensiveness of bank practice in relation to CSR reporting. This approach enables cross-sectional and cross-country comparisons over time and the ability to replicate and apply to other industries or sectors.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Book part
Publication date: 17 April 2018

Delphine Gibassier

The research objectives of this chapter are threefold. First, we explore what is the current status of corporate water accounting tools and methodologies. Second, we…

Abstract

Purpose

The research objectives of this chapter are threefold. First, we explore what is the current status of corporate water accounting tools and methodologies. Second, we develop a framework for analyzing corporate water accounting and reporting. Third, we investigate what French CAC 40 companies account for and report in relations to the water challenge.

Methodology/approach

We collected annual and sustainability reports from all CAC 40 companies as well as their water Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) responses when available. We also collected all publically available corporate water accounting methodologies to assess the international water accounting field. We coded the data according to our designed framework via qualitative data analysis software.

Findings

Although water is seen as equally important to climate change (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), 2009), French multinationals have a very immature reporting on this topic. Most still do not report to the water disclosure questionnaire of CDP in 2014 and rely on basic figures such as global water consumption. We analyzed the multiple water accounting, reporting, and risk assessment frameworks that have mushroomed since 2000, and question the impact of this fragmented field on the maturity of the water performance reporting by French companies.

Practical implications

The developed framework for analysis of water reporting can be used for sustainability teaching at university level.

Originality/value

We developed the first comprehensive analytical framework for water corporate reporting assessment. Moreover, this research is the first comprehensive study of water reporting in Europe. We therefore contribute to extend our comprehension of corporate maturity in water stewardship and water performance reporting.

Details

Sustainability Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-889-3

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2014

Grant Samkin, Annika Schneider and Dannielle Tappin

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the development of a biodiversity reporting and evaluation framework. The application of the framework to an exemplar…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the development of a biodiversity reporting and evaluation framework. The application of the framework to an exemplar organisation identifies biodiversity-related annual report disclosures and analyses changes in the nature and levels of these over time. Finally, the paper aims to establish whether the disclosures made by the exemplar are consistent with a deep ecological perspective, as exemplified by New Zealand conservation legislation.

Design/methodology/approach

Viewing the framework developed by the paper through a deep ecological lens, the study involves a detailed content analysis of the biodiversity disclosures contained within the annual reports of a conservation organisation over a 23-year period. Using the framework developed in this paper, the biodiversity-related text units were identified and allocated to one of three major categories, 13 subcategories, and then into deep, intermediate and shallow ecology.

Findings

Biodiversity disclosures enable stakeholders to determine the goals, assess their implementation, and evaluate the performance of an organisation. Applying the framework to the exemplar revealed the majority of annual report disclosures focused on presenting performance/implementation information. The study also found that the majority of disclosures reflect a deep ecological approach. A deep/shallow ecological tension was apparent in a number of disclosures, especially those relating to the exploitation of the conservation estate.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to develop a framework that can be used as both a biodiversity reporting assessment tool and a reporting guide. The framework will be particularly useful for those studying reporting by conservation departments and stakeholders of organisations whose operations impact biodiversity.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2021

Mercedes Ruiz-Lozano, Marta De Vicente-Lama, Pilar Tirado-Valencia and Magdalena Cordobés-Madueño

This paper aims to assess the disclosure of the materiality process in the preparation of sustainability reports of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). This paper also…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the disclosure of the materiality process in the preparation of sustainability reports of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). This paper also explores the effects of regulation mandating that SOEs prepare sustainability reports. In the specific case of port authorities, the study analyses the influence of a sector guideline that determines what should be included and the structure of the report. Another aim of this paper is to delve into SOE's motivations for disclosing information on materiality assessments, using the assumptions of the different theories to explain their reporting practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of SOEs sustainability reports, a content analysis is undertaken. The methodology involves the analysis of the information disclosed by SOEs in Spain and the development of a materiality disclosure index. This index enables sampled entities to be classified on a scale of 0–5, based on the extent of their disclosures of the materiality determination process. This study also identifies several variables that explain differences in these disclosures.

Findings

A low rate of information disclosed about the materiality process can be attributed to the desire of SOEs to create symbolic legitimacy. In a context where the disclosure of sustainability information is mandatory, only few organisations apply the principle of materiality to define the content of their sustainability reports. These results highlight that institutional isomorphism has only had a limited effect on the materiality process.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations associated with the sample size and composition of the sample by sector apply.

Practical implications

This research shows that generally accepted reporting guidelines constitute a reference framework for sustainability reporting but that the principles underpinning these frameworks are not always implemented.

Originality/value

This study extends the literature on the implementation of the principle of materiality and uses disclosure theories to explain the actual reporting by SOEs of their materiality process.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 28 November 2017

Francesco Bellandi

Part II contrasts the views of materiality in the Conceptual Frameworks of the IASB, FASB, IPSAS, and other framework such as the Integrated Reporting. In particular, it…

Abstract

Part II contrasts the views of materiality in the Conceptual Frameworks of the IASB, FASB, IPSAS, and other framework such as the Integrated Reporting. In particular, it analyzes at what level and how differently that concept interacts with the qualitative characteristics of financial information in each of those frameworks. It looks at its pervasiveness and entity specificity, the interlock with the concept of relevance, reliability and faithful representation, completeness, understandability, neutrality, and drills down to the link to recognition.

This part then compares the definitions of materiality in different standards and contexts, to then draw a taxonomy of materiality and its attributes, such as the subject matter, thecontext of assessment, the addressees, the assessor, and the materiality test. A large part of the analysis involves the comparison between legal definitions of materiality and characterizations in the accounting, financial, and larger management contexts.

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2019

Federica Farneti, Federica Casonato, Monica Montecalvo and Charl de Villiers

The purpose of this study is to examine how social disclosures are influenced by the adoption of integrated reporting (IR), focusing on the three social capitals in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how social disclosures are influenced by the adoption of integrated reporting (IR), focusing on the three social capitals in the international IR framework, namely, intellectual, human and social and relationship capital.

Design/methodology/approach

This study takes the form of a single case study involving content analyses of annual reports and integrated reports from 2009 to 2017 (i.e. before and after IR adoption in 2013), as well as in-depth, semi-structured interviews with key preparers of the integrated report at New Zealand Post, to study changes in disclosures towards different stakeholder groups, from an internal organisation perspective. The empirical evidence is analysed through the lens of stakeholder theory.

Findings

This study provides empirical evidence that contributes to our understanding of IR’s influence on the disclosure of social information and enhanced stakeholder relations in a public sector context. The study shows that the IR framework promoted a materiality assessment approach with stakeholders, which led to a reduction in social disclosures, while the materiality focus led to the disclosure of social matters more relevant to stakeholders.

Social implications

IR led to meaningful stakeholder engagement, which led to social disclosure that are more relevant to stakeholders.

Originality/value

This study assesses the influence of IR on social disclosures. The findings will be of interest to organisations seeking to enhance stakeholder relations and/or undertake IR and/or social disclosures.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2020

Ludek Seda and Carol Ann Tilt

This paper aims to investigate the disclosure of fraud-related activities in public sector organisations in Australia. Specifically, the study reviews and evaluates the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the disclosure of fraud-related activities in public sector organisations in Australia. Specifically, the study reviews and evaluates the level and nature of fraud control information in annual reports of Commonwealth agencies and bodies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a qualitative approach with the aim of expanding the body of empirical literature on disclosure of fraud control information in annual reports. The study further uses the theory of accountability – an essential concept for organisations that exist for public interest.

Findings

The results show that there is some prima facie evidence of public accountability. However, these results suggest that current disclosures of fraud-related activities in annual reports are failing to ensure the public is aware of activities used to combat fraud and its implications for the public interest.

Practical implications

The results have important implications for developing a framework for good reporting of fraud control activities.

Originality/value

This research study adds to the limited body of knowledge regarding how public entities discharge their accountability in relation to their fraud control activities.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Book part
Publication date: 28 November 2017

Francesco Bellandi

Part V analyzes the details of how to assess materiality. It first tackles qualitative versus quantitative criteria and the role of professional judgment. It then analyzes…

Abstract

Part V analyzes the details of how to assess materiality. It first tackles qualitative versus quantitative criteria and the role of professional judgment. It then analyzes the selection of quantitative threshold, to expand to the choice of benchmarks. It contrasts the whole financial statements with subaggregates, line items, and components.

Specific sections contrast IASB, FASB, SEC, and other guidance on materiality applied to comparative information, interim reporting, and segment reporting.

The section on estimates mingles complex guidance coming from accounting, auditing, and internal control over financial reporting to explain how the management can improve its assessment of materiality concerning estimates.

After explaining the techniques to move from individual to cumulative misstatements, the part tackles verification ex post, and finally summarizes the intricacies of whether immaterial misstatements are permissible and their consequences.

Details

Materiality in Financial Reporting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-736-4

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2021

Muhammad Bilal Farooq, Rashid Zaman, Dania Sarraj and Fahad Khalid

This paper aims to evaluate the extent of materiality assessment disclosures in sustainability reports and their determinants. The study examines the disclosure practices…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the extent of materiality assessment disclosures in sustainability reports and their determinants. The study examines the disclosure practices of listed companies based in the member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, colloquially referred to as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Design/methodology/approach

First, the materiality assessment disclosures were scored through a content analysis of sustainability reports published by listed GCC companies during a five-year period from 2013 to 2017. Second, a fixed effect ordered logic regression was used to examine the determinants of materiality assessment disclosures.

Findings

While sustainability reporting rates improved across the sample period, a significant majority of listed GCC companies do not engage in sustainability reporting. The use of internationally recognised standards has also declined. While reporters provide more information on their materiality assessment, the number of sustainability reports that offer information on how the reporter identifies material issues has declined. These trends potentially indicate the existence of managerial capture. Materiality assessment disclosure scores are positively influenced by higher financial performance (Return on Assets), lower leverage and better corporate governance. However, company size and market-to-book ratio do not influence materiality assessment disclosures.

Practical implications

The findings may prove useful to managers responsible for preparing sustainability reports who can benefit from the examples of materiality assessment disclosures. An evaluation of the materiality assessment should be included in the scope of assurance engagements and practitioners can use the examples of best practice when evaluating sustainability reports. Stock exchanges may consider developing improved corporate governance guidelines as these will lead to materiality assessment disclosures.

Social implications

The findings may assist in improving sustainability reporting quality, through better materiality assessment disclosures. This will allow corporate stakeholders to evaluate the reporting entities underlying processes, which leads to transparency and corporate accountability. Improved corporate sustainability reporting supports the GCC commitment to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and transition to sustainable development.

Originality/value

This study addresses the call for greater research examining materiality within a sustainability reporting context. This is the first paper to examine sustainability reporting quality in the GCC region, focussing particularly on materiality assessment disclosures.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Subhash Abhayawansa and Carol Adams

This paper aims to evaluate non-financial reporting (NFR) frameworks insofar as risk reporting is concerned. This is facilitated through analysis of the adequacy of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate non-financial reporting (NFR) frameworks insofar as risk reporting is concerned. This is facilitated through analysis of the adequacy of climate- and pandemic-related risk reporting in three industries that are both significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are at risk from climate change. The pervasiveness of pandemic and climate-change risks have been highlighted in 2020, the hottest year on record and the year the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Stakeholders might reasonably expect reporting on these risks to have prepared them for the consequences.

Design/methodology/approach

The current debate on the “complexity” of sustainability and NFR frameworks/standards is critically analysed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and calls to “build back better”. Context is provided through analysis of risk reporting by the ten largest airlines and the five largest companies in each of the hotel and cruise industries.

Findings

Risk reporting on two significant issues, pandemics and climate change, is woefully inadequate. While very little consideration has been given to pandemic risks, disclosures on climate-related risks focus predominantly on “risks” of increased regulation rather than physical risks, indicating a short-term focus. The disclosures are dispersed across different corporate reporting media and fail to appreciate the long-term consequences or offer solutions. Mindful that a conceptual framework for NFR must address this, the authors propose a new definition of materiality and recommend that sustainable development risks and opportunities be placed at the core of a future framework for connected/integrated reporting.

Research limitations/implications

For sustainable development risks to be perceived as “real” by managers, further research is needed to determine the nature and extent of key sustainable development risks and the most effective mitigation strategies.

Social implications

This paper highlights the importance of recognising the complexity of the issues facing organisations, society and the planet and addressing them by encouraging robust consideration of the interdependencies in evolving approaches to corporate reporting.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the current debate on the future of corporate reporting in light of two significant interconnected crises that threaten business and society – the pandemic and climate change. It provides evidence to support a long-term oriented and holistic approach to risk management and reporting.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

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