ICSA guidance on annual report contents

The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators has published a guidance note relating to good practice in the preparation of annual reports.

The guidance note highlights best practice in the constituent parts of an annual report, such as the strategic report, board reporting and audit and risk reports. Generally, the guidance note encourages companies to view the annual report as a communications opportunity, rather than a compliance obligation.  It states that the best annual reports are “easy to read and give an honest appraisal – “warts and all” – of the year under review”.

In addition, the guidance note reports that the best annual reports set themselves apart by:

  • using innovative and creative forms of disclosure, which move away from boilerplate;
  • explaining the way the board runs itself and its committees and how decisions are taken;
  • giving comprehensive explanations of departures from the UK Corporate Governance Code; and
  • providing a full description and explanation of the business model and strategy with key performance indicators, performance against targets and important information cross referenced to elsewhere in the report.

ICSA is the chartered membership and qualifying body for professionals working in governance, risk and compliance, including company secretaries.