After six years of integrated reporting by listed companies in South Africa, it’s clear that many of the benefits enjoyed are internal to the company. This is because the process of preparing integrated reports has helped embed integrated thinking.

Companies in South Africa cite the “external” benefits of integrated reporting as improved dialogue with stakeholders, better alignment of external and internal reports, and an improvement in balanced reporting and transparency.

Many of the other benefits espoused relate to how the company is managed. Companies talk about increased awareness of the impact of key resources and relationships on financial performance and the company’s future, the focused integration of KPIs relating to the management of key resources and relationships, the breaking down of internal silos and promotion of sharing of information, and a broader understanding of the business model and its components.

These benefits are pretty much what integrated thinking is all about.

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