In a supportive response to the international integrated reporting framework launched by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), BDO International highlighted the need to develop a robust external assurance protocol.
Last April, the IIRC launched a consultation draft of the integrated reporting framework, which lays the groundwork for a more comprehensive corporate reporting model.
While BDO’s response embraced the IIRC’s initiative and described the framework as "a positive step toward bringing together diverse stakeholder communications, including annual and sustainability reports", it also highlighted room for improvement.
In particular, BDO suggested the development of a robust external assurance protocol to properly and consistently evaluate and report on an entity’s integrated report under the framework.
"An assurance model should add credibility and reliability to an integrated report," BDO’s response reads.
"However, there is a need for assurance standards to be developed to deal with the requirements of integrated reporting."
BDO believes that assurance providers will also need to improve their skills in understanding the nature of capitals and their relative importance in value creation in order to be able to provide an integrated assurance report.