PETALING JAYA: Malaysian companies are encouraged to adopt Integrated Reporting (IR) as a corporate norm, which will enable effective information dissemination to stakeholders on the essentials of the organisation. An integrated report is a concise reporting format based on a framework developed by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) which can be implemented by companies while presenting key information which would be of the interest of stakeholders when making their investment decision. The report details on an organisation’s strategy and model, governance, performance and prospects, in the context of its external environment, which can lead to value creation. “Companies that adopted IR attract a longer term investor base, has better access to capital, and a lower cost to capital,” said Richard Howitt CEO of IIRC at a media briefing on IR last Friday. Thus far, only a handful of local companies, such as Sime Darby Bhd, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd and Bursa Malaysia Bhd, have adopted IR and released their annual reports based on this concept. According to the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), which has been endorsing IR locally since 2015, some 24 companies have pledged to adopt this concept within the next two to five years. “The mindset and process drives the company to address the various questions in the minds of stakeholders in terms of communication,” said Dr Nurmazilah Datuk Mahzan. She said the current standards of annual report do not address all the key information which could be of interest to stakeholders, leading to questions being posed during annual general meetings. This, she added, can be addressed by Integrated Reporting. MIA will be working closely with IIRC to organise training sessions on IR and engage with companies that are interested in pursuing IR. According to Nurmazilah, IR is not widely practised in Malaysia due to the lack of awareness on the matter, and is hopeful that the practice will be adopted because of the benefits, and not out of compulsion. IR can be implemented with no cost as the framework is available for free and companies could choose to implement it on its own or by engaging IIRC for a small fee. Besides Malaysia, Singapore is the only other Asean nation to be in the know of the practice. More than 1,000 global businesses have adopted IR since it was introduced in 2010, and South Africa has made it a mandatory practice.