CPA Australia has begun implementing internal
integrated reporting procedures with the aim of releasing its first
external integrated report within two years.

Integrated reporting combines social,
environmental and economic performance metrics and narrative with
financial performance. The aim of integrated reporting is to
provide a more holistic view of the business and its
sustainability, taking into account factors such as human
resources, energy usage and the social effects of operation.

CPA Australia president Low Weng Keong said
CPA Australia board members have been receiving internal integrated
reports for the past two quarters.

“It provides a more objective evaluation,” Low
told The Accountant. “What we have seen supports the
feeling (about CPA Australia’s integrity) that we have always had
and we are able to speak with substance.”

CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley said
integrated reporting helps the board shape strategy by allowing
board members to ask more meaningful questions on topics such as
how resources are used and gender balance.

It also changes the nature of roles as a
broader range of people must now measure more KPIs on vast array of

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But the hard work isn’t measurement, said
Malley, it is how you then improve a business once you have
identified problems that previously were not addressed. An example
of a problem integrated reporting helped unearth at CPA Australia
is the amount of catering waste the professional body uses.

CPA Australia was the first professional
accountancy body in the world to produce a sustainability report
and Malley believes it is important to be able to ‘walk the walk’
before preaching to the business community about the benefits of
integrated reporting.

“This needs to be a cultural shift, not just
another report,” he said. “People involved in [promoting integrated
reporting] need to have experience in the fundamentals.”