The “Integrated Report for SMEs” took place on 17 September 2019, an important international Webinar organised by IFAC/IIRC and OIBR which was attended by 80 persons from different countries.
Guide lines NIBR/OIBR-IIRC for the implementation of the Integrated Report in SMEs.
During Webinar have been submitted and presented, as well as the IFAC document about this subject (published in August 2007), the NIBR/OIBR-IIRC guide lines for the implementation of the Integrated Report in SMEs (published in December 2018) and already available in English on the following website: http://integratedreporting.org/resource/integrated-reporting-for-smes-implementation-guidance/. The Italian version of these guide lines is being published by the O.I.B.R. Foundation on the occasion of the Conference of the 9 October in Milano.
We report only some of the most important thoughts of the rapporteurs: Matteo Pozzoli of IFAC, Stefano Zambon Secretary-General of OIBR and Professor of Business Economy at Ferrara University, Laura Girella Technical and Research Manager of IIRC, Marco Pasquotti CFO of Dellas and President of Andaf Nord-Est, Andrea Ragazzini CFO of Stafer and management consultant.
Matteo Pozzoli, IFAC
Matteo Pozzoli explains that IFAC’s idea is connected to a larger model of Integrated Thinking and Reporting which allows to achieve a wide Corporate Reporting and for this reason it’s supported by IIRC and its framework. IFAC has produced some documents about those subjects: the most important is “Creating value for SMEs through Integrated Thinking”. According to IFAC, the use of these instruments provides several benefits, because: a) they make possible for owners a better understanding of business and operations; b) they allow a better management of the available resources and they allow the creation of long-term value; c) they promote a greater understanding and communication towards the stakeholder; d) they mean that it’s possible to provide a clear overview about how a small company creates value in connection with the non-financial measures.
Stefano Zambon, Secretary-General of OIBR and Professor of Business Economy at Ferrara University
Professor Zambon’s thought started pointing out that Webinar’s rapporteurs are Italian: this is an important achievement of the NIBR’s work (Italian Network of Business Reporting) in encouraging the SMEs towards the Integrated Report. That’s why form the NIBR’s experience is born the OIBR Foundation (Italian Organisation of Business Reporting) which stands as meeting point and a work platform for everyone, representing an Italian meaningful item in the global debate. 95% of the Italian companies are SMEs, and may entrepreneurs wonder who it’s possible to improve the reporting, sure that their value is higher than the financial-economic one, however the SMEs haven’t generally enough culture to implement such an instrument. So, B20 has promoted the foundation of the World SMEs Forum (WSF) aimed at overcome the main difficulties of SMEs: the lack of data, the available limited resources, the shortage of internal staff to implement the instrument, a lower sensibility of the governance towards these issues, the difficulties in making the framework’s guides operational. Moreover, on the website of IIRC are available some guide lines to support the SMEs in the implementation of the Integrated Report.
Laura Girella Technical and Research Manager at IIRC
The report of Laura Girella has been focused on the IIRC’s framework, which has been read and described through the SMEs’ point of view, thus creating the guide lines for the implementation of the Integrated Report in this kind of companies. This has allowed to achieve the development of an operating tool which provides explications about terminologies and which represents an international focus on the Italian SMEs and gives a list of indicators that SMEs can use.
Marco Pasquotti CFO Dellas
Marco Pasquotti reported that in 2010 the area in which Dellas operates (Dellas produces diamond tools for cutting) has been affected by a deep crisis which has led the company to develop from a family company into business company, thanks to a strong investment in market and products development. This meant that, to prove to all the stakeholders their strong action of investment, Dellas has developed the reporting also through intangible elements: first though the Sustainability Report, then, to deliver the owner’s capacities to create value and to grasp the need to promote this know -how to the new managers of the company to go on in creating value, trough the Integrated Report. Today, Dellas is a case study, one of the examples of Integrated Report for small and medium-sized enterprises. The benefits attended thanks to the Integrated Report are various: an increasing confidence in themselves from several stakeholders, the possibility to find new technological partners, the acquisition of a new big buyer.
Andrea Ragazzini, C.F.O of Stafer and Business Consultant
Andrea Ragazzini pointed out that the most important element to be considered in order to understand the experience of the integrated reporting for an Italian engineering SMEs as Stafer is the reason that leads the company to this process: the wish to explain stakeholders, in particular the in-house staff, the whole process of value creation of the company and the way to manage the intangibles for the prosperity and the continuity of the same company and of the territory. According to Andrea Ragazzini, this is a decisive point, because the sphere of the sustainability is only a part of the process of value creation and the intangible assets are essential son that the company is really long-term sustainable. For this reason, the Integrated Report has been chosen instead of the Sustainability Report, in fact, the second one couldn’t explain in detail how the company is managed in all the fields, for a vision of the long-term value creation. Already since 2008 has begun an organisational revolution that led the company to adopt a strategic map, linked to a balanced scorecard and to a control system of the organisational processes. The management system of the human resources has been the cornerstone for the evolution of the company: through a more and better awareness, people have developed a growing sense of responsibility which has resulted in an improvement of the business performances and of the well-being of people during working hours. During the construction of the report, it has been decided to overcome the Balanced Scorecard, by increasing what in Stafer is called the Spiral of Value, which represents the connection between the strategic vision and the tools used to achieve these aims. An important part of the work has been dedicated to the analysis of the materiality, for which it has been important to translate for the first time the reality in a new analytic way. During this proceed, a third dimension has been defined, in order to better explain all the material aspects of Stafer’s activity. Since 2016 the Integrated Report of Stafer has been a case study in several Italian Universities and it took part twice in the Competition of the Balance Sheet Oscar for the Better Integrated Report, winning in 2018, and it won also in one of the sections of the competition in Emilia Romagna “Responsible Innovators”.