Annual Reports

Annual Reports

Which Type Do You Prefer?

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Today we reviewed Annual Reports for various corporations and discussed the different formats they can be provided in. We discussed the benefits and detriments of each.The legal requirements for every corporation is to provide a full annual report. Typical reports provide a thorough review of corporate aspects such as auditors reports, directors reports, financial statements, accounting policies, mission, vision and values statements, trends, employee hiring, retention, corporate governance, and so on. If you are (or were to be) a corporation, which format would work best for you?

  • Hard Copy: The benefits of the hard copy are a direct distribution to identified stakeholders. This provides a personal outreach to those invested in different aspects of the company. It also provides direct access, anytime they want to the document in their possession, whether they need to refer to a section, or otherwise. The downside of hard copies can be an extensive report that will prove overwhelming for some to read. It also uses a substantial amount of paper and ink, creating an environmental impact and additional cost to the company.
  • Digital copies: Digital reports can be highly effective, in terms of the level of creativity, graphics, and physical layout. Because of this format, it reduces costs associated with printing and the environmental impact hard copies create. It also allows for mass distribution, reaching a far larger audience than the typical stakeholders. The downside to digital could be impatience with readers that don’t want to navigate through the digital version, perhaps missing critical information that would otherwise be at their disposal anytime. The digital format also limits people who may not readily have access to the internet in order to obtain it. The mass distribution further removes the personal aspect of the director to stakeholders.
  • Video copies: This innovative way of relaying annual reports lends a highly interactive experience for stakeholders interested in reading the annual statistics and updates for the company. This version also allows for embedded video clips, perhaps of the CEO, Director or other authority figure representing the company, giving a more personalized message. It gives a “face” to the technological age that may appeal to some. The downside, again would be in terms of people with limited technological access to computers and the internet.

Overall, each format of annual report has its pros and cons. For this tech-savvy gal who doesn’t have a great deal of shelving space for long documents, I prefer digital or video that I can access at will. Something for me to consider in my future business ventures!

Here is an example of an Annual report for Loyalist College in pdf!

Happy reading!

Karen Minnis

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