A corporate annual report provides information on the company’s performance over the past year. For a time, they typically covered financial performance of the company. As the world moves towards sustainability, the report has expanded to cover more topics under environmental, social and governance i.e. ESG.
The target market for annual reports is usually shareholders but it can also be used by other stakeholders such as new investors or even government. In Kenya, for some institutions it is mandatory to produce these reports as part of due diligence and statutory compliance. A good example is financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies.
Here’s what to expect in a typical annual report design:
These pages contain company information as well as some product placements. These are the pages before the main report and can include structure of the board as well as management, corporate strategy, some of the company’s endeavours, activities in the year, awards and more.
Notice of the Annual General Meeting
This is required for some institutions especially where it is a statutory requirement to have this report as well as the meeting of shareholders.
Here the Chairman summarises the report from a strategic viewpoint. The report usually gives shareholders the sense of strategic direction the business is taking.
The CEO summarizes the main achievements, challenges, and goals of the company. From a tactical viewpoint, the CEO gives a clear direction on what he/she seeks to implement and how they seek to implement it. It should fit within the Chairman’s and the company’s overall strategic direction.
This section usually covers both non-financial and financial highlights in a visually appealing manner. It is an infographic snapshot of the company’s performance and eases the reader deeper into the report. The overview gives a brief sense of the performance without having to analyse any figures. Here one can include key financial and operational indicators, such as revenue, asset base, profit, market share, customer satisfaction, and social responsibility.
This also can be combined as a management discussion and analysis (MD&A). It is an overview of factors that affected the company’s performance, such as market trends, competitive environment, risks, opportunities, and strategies.
It is basically an assessment of micro and macro-economic factors vis-a-vis the business’ operations.
Statement of Corporate Governance
This, in today’s economy, must exceed the set standards. How are the directors and management committing to operating above board for a sound business? It is a brief overview of policies and practices in place to ensure the business meets and exceed each stakeholder’s needs in the business. It is also about transparency and ethical business conduct. Sometimes it even covers the directors’ responsibilities.
The audit report usually comes from the Accounting & Audit Firm. It is an expression of opinion on whether the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the applicable accounting standards and present a true and fair view of the company’s financial position and performance. It sometimes also lists the directors’ responsibilities and the auditor’s responsibilities on the financial statements.
The Financial Report
This section has an extensive array of tables reporting the financial performance of the company in detail. It may cover the group level as well as the business units. The size of a company usually determines how lengthy these pages are. Some of the information you can expect to find include:
- Balance sheet
- Cash flow statement
- Contents: non-audited information
- Profit and loss account
- Accounting policies
- Notes to the financial statements
- A shareholder information section, which includes the company’s share capital, dividend policy, and stock performance.
Other information deemed relevant to stakeholders may be included, such as a report on operations for manufacturing firms or corporate social responsibility reports for companies with environmentally or socially sensitive operations.
Financial reports in the case of larger companies usually have a sleek, colourful, high-gloss publication. If you are looking to design and print an annual report for your company, get in touch with us today. At Pulsar, we focus on delivering unique designs that ensure your brand stands out. Our print solutions can give you just the number of copies you need – no need for bulk printing and thus wastage.
Explore an annual report case study here.