Luminous’ take: Workiva and PwC London Accelerate 2023: Unity in Reporting

Hosted at a spectacular venue, Luminous attended the half-day conference by Workiva and PwC on 17 May, joined by industry leaders and reporting experts.

The event brought together a community of like-minded professionals, united in their commitment to advancing integrated reporting, and enabled Luminous to engage in insightful discussions with peers, gain valuable market insights and tap into collective expertise. In this blog post, we highlight interesting discussions and notable findings from the conference.

The conference kicked off with discussions from a panel of speakers drawing on wider market insights and sharing personal experiences.

Unsurprisingly, the increasing size of the annual report was discussed, a resonating area of interest from a growing number of our clients. Integration of reporting frameworks, such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, further contributes to the expanding size of these reports.

It was emphasised that managing the increasing size of annual reports is essential, as it presents challenges in assessing the value and understanding the information provided. Companies need to proactively evaluate the report size, aiming to eliminate duplication and provide concise and meaningful disclosures. This means understanding what they include in their report and the underlying purpose behind it.

­According to survey findings, the number one problem in reporting was found to be capacity, with 75% of UK finance teams operating at or beyond their limits. This highlights the strain faced by companies in managing reporting requirements effectively. The speakers recognised the issues stemming from growing and overlapping processes within organisations, which contribute to the difficulty of establishing linkage, co-ordination and control across the organisation and its data sets.

It was emphasised that relying on traditional approaches such as spreadsheets and additional personnel is not the solution. Instead, technology was identified as a vital enabler to streamline reporting processes, enhance data management and alleviate the pressures on finance teams.

As the conference progressed, it unveiled further insights into research findings, which included the following:

  • 52% said identifying and assessing ESG-related risk is a high priority.
  • More than 80% said mandatory disclosure and voluntary reporting are significant drivers for investing in ESG reporting.
  • Over 60% said that the ESG controller is a key or significant contributor to implementing their ESG reporting and ESG assurance strategy.

It is clear that ESG considerations and material related ESG matters necessitates a fundamental shift in processes and the integration of teams to avoid siloed approaches. As stakeholders increasingly prioritise ESG factors, companies are under significant pressure to invest heavily in this area to meet stakeholder expectations, enhance reputation and ensure long-term success. It is imperative for companies to adopt a holistic and collaborative approach, to effectively address the challenges and opportunities presented by the ESG landscape.

In closing, the insights shared also emphasised the importance for businesses to move away from siloed thinking and to embrace collaborative approaches to address the complex challenges of the evolving reporting landscape. Understanding the interconnectedness of teams is crucial for success.

A notable example shared by the Chairman of the World Benchmarking Alliance, Paul Druckman, highlights the shifting nature of risks, wherein a top 10 FTSE company expressed that a key executive received more support for innovation in the business model from non-executive directors than from their colleagues on the management team. This observation signifies the potential risks that companies face by operating within silos and emphasises the importance of adopting a broader perspective. By embracing this transformative mindset, organisations can position themselves for sustainable success in the future.

As the reporting landscape continues to evolve, it is clear that technology will play a pivotal role. It will be exciting to see the transformative impact it will have on businesses and the future of reporting. 

Luminous is an official partner of Workiva, helping clients transition to the Wdesk platform, streamlining content management and using design in a different way. We have experienced first-hand the benefits and compromises it offers to both us and our clients.

We have worked with Allied Irish Banks and Marex to implement Wdesk, creating simple and flexible design options that allowed for the right balance between creativity and functionality.

We also developed detailed, bespoke Wdesk roadmaps for each client, providing greater visibility for their internal teams into the planning of the entire reporting process, allowing them to work more efficiently and, more importantly, collaboratively.

If you're interested in hearing more about how we have helped our clients with Wdesk and the wider Workiva platforms, please get in touch.