In 2011, Mikkel Larsen, Managing Director, Head of Tax & Accounting Policy, Group Finance at DBS Bank mooted the idea of DBS adopting an integrated reporting approach. He was convinced that this was a more holistic way of reporting on the bank’s business strategy and activities, linking each of them clearly to the financial and non-financial impact it would have on its stakeholders. In 2012, when DBS adopted the integrated reporting approach, it was the first listed company in Southeast Asia to do so. The report had been well-received and garnered considerable attention from the external parties such as research analysts and the media.
Based on feedback from DBS’s stakeholders, DBS incorporated changes that would make the 2013 IR more user-friendly and meaningful for its stakeholders. Larsen was, in May 2014, looking over the 2013 report, recognising that there was always room for improvement. For instance, in preparation for the following years’ annual reports, further enhancements, could include defining ‘materiality’, increasing stakeholder outreach, and reporting ‘outcomes’ as compared to ‘outputs’.
This case is suitable for undergraduates and postgraduates in accounting and finance. Students will learn about integrated reporting, how it differs from traditional financial reporting, and the challenges and benefits that an organization faces when it implements the IR.
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