Relevance: Stakeholder Inclusiveness

How can stakeholders help make a report relevant?

Because reports are prepared for stakeholders (both internal and external) companies engage their stakeholders in a number of ways to ensure that their reports provide the information that is useful and relevant to them. Stakeholder inclusiveness helps to ensure relevance. Stakeholders provide input on several aspects of the report.

Readability

  • design;
  • length; and
  • clarity.

Report Content

  • important themes;
  • depth of discussion; and
  • balance of positive and negative.

Performance

  • acceptability;
  • suggested improvements; and
  • observations.

Stakeholders also help to determine the standards that are used for reporting. The advantage of using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Reporting Guidelines is that they are developed through a multi-stakeholder process similar to the process used to develop new financial accounting principles. They are tested for information content (whether decision makers will use the information to make decisions) by the various users of financial statements and other financial documents. A similar process occurs in developing GRI Guidelines. Guidelines should reflect the needs of all stakeholders, not just the industry.