As the world becomes flat and more interconnected, corporations need to not only outcompete their rivals in delivering financial results but they also need to communicate more vigorously and clearly what their plans and how their strategic decisions affect their sustainability. The current state of corporate reporting is in want of improvement. This was confirmed by a 2014 survey of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) based in the United Kingdom and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) which shows that current reporting practices fails to meet both the internal and external information needs of stakeholders.
A call for new reporting frameworks yielded the creation of various sustainability reporting standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative and the International Integrated Reporting <IR> framework. These evolving standards entail additional costs to companies and increased competency requirements of their staff. This also leads to more questions ranging from the changes in corporate reporting practices to how the various elements of such report (i.e. bottom-lines vs. capitals) are accounted and reported.
The RVR-College of Business thru the Center for Business Research and Development embraces the challenge of harnessing the initiatives of researchers, faculty, students and corporate executives to form a network to monitor the development of these new corporate reporting practices and its impact to businesses, financial markets and economies especially among the ASEAN countries. As sustainability reporting includes various aspects of business activities and accountabilities such as environmental impact, social responsibility and intellectual capital, this supports the vision-mission of De La Salle University to bridge faith and scholarship attuned to a sustainable Earth. Thus, we propose the creation of the ASEAN Corporate Reporting Research Network (ACoRRN).
Research and advocacy
The primary activity of ACoRRN is to undertake research on the various sustainability reporting practices of ASEAN companies as well as the adoption of the different frameworks and implication of such reports to businesses, financial markets and economies. Sustainability reporting is also known as Environmental, Social Responsibility and Governance (ESG) reporting and they include more non-financial and non-accounting information. As a network, ACoRRN aims to be an advocate in encouraging scholarly researches and practice-oriented discourses among students, faculty and corporate executives as well as in animating increased transparency in corporate reporting.
ACoRRN also seeks to provide support to interested researchers and students to discuss potential research topics and ideas relating to corporate reporting.
As an output, the network aims to conduct orientations on the different standards in sustainability reporting as well as hold regular formal and informal forums for discussing results of various studies and researches.
In addition to producing scholarly research as knowledge products, ACoRRN aims to be the repository of publicly available sustainability reports of ASEAN companies as well as various working papers, published articles and practitioner and learner-friendly materials such as notes, newspaper articles and teaching cases.
The development and maintaining of a cloud-based repository of these reports and outputs is part of the product of this network.
Relationship and collaboration
ACoRRN aspires to build relationships with regulatory and standard-setting bodies as well as scholars from other related discipline to collaborate in pursuing the frontier of corporate reporting in the Third Millenia.
As an initial step, the ACoRRN will explore partnership with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the local Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We aspire to be a resource and subject matter expert in matters relating to sustainability reporting, practices and implications.