Producing your annual report can be a challenge at the best of times – and as many people continue to be based from home, remote working adds another layer of complexity.
Our 7 tips for making your annual reporting process a smoother one are designed to take the stress out of creating your financial reports, whether you are doing it for the first time or are a seasoned professional.
Tip 1: Assemble your team
Who needs to contribute to your reporting? What systems and teams do you need to gather data from? Identifying your go-to’s in terms of information, and getting them involved early in the process, will help to ensure you have everything you need.
And don’t just think internally – who will design and print your reports? It’s worth getting your external agencies on board at an early stage too, so they can share in your vision.
Tip 2: Keep the channels of communication open
Again, this applies to outside partners as well as internal teams. If your plans change, the information you plan to include grows, or you have an inspired idea for your report’s look and feel – share updates asap, so everyone is aligned with your plans.
Tip 3: Seek expert advice
It’s easy to ‘always do what you’ve always done’. But a fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable in making sure your report is fit for purpose, adheres to regulatory requirements and best practice, and looks the part.
With 210 listed company annual reports entrusted to us each year, along with many more open-ended fund reports, Perivan’s team has the experience and expertise to advise you on your reporting – from content, to design, to proofing and print.
Tip 4: Stay ahead of changing requirements
The regulatory and legislative obligations around financial reporting can change year on year – make sure you keep abreast of them.
For instance, the government intends to make Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) disclosures mandatory in annual reports by 2025. Changes like this will have a material impact on the information you need to collate and include.
Tip 5: Perfect your copy before committing it to design
You’ll save time and money by making sure your content is spot-on before you start the design process.
Our years of working on annual reports – for everyone from newly listed companies to well-established corporates – gives us a keen understanding of what’s needed. Allow us to take a look at your content before it flows into design and the process will be smoother and quicker.
Tip 6: Be realistic about timeframes
Once you’ve collated the information you need, drafted your content and had your wording approved, you may think the bulk of your work is done.
But you should always dedicate sufficient time to design and proofing if you want the best end result. If teams are working remotely, this may add time to the process – make sure you allow for this in your timescales if you want a professional end result.
Tip 7: Communicate clearly with your designer
Talk to your design team, whether they’re internal or external, and find out how they want to manage the proofing process. How do they want to receive amendments – marked up on the proof? Via email? Or they may have a platform that allows collaborative reviewing, with edits marked up online. Make sure all amendments are clear and unambiguous – if in doubt, talk it through.
Perivan has been a major player in the annual report market for many years, with 88 new annual report clients since Spring 2017.
Newly-listed companies who have sought our help with their IPO prospectuses trust us to produce their annual reports once they are public. Many of our clients are long-established businesses, with some of our longest-standing clients having been with us for over 20 years.
The range of clients we work with means we’re adept at everything from producing a simple first annual report to a complete design and production service. Our strong continuity of personnel ensures customer service from a team that knows and cares about, our clients.
To find out more about how Perivan could help smooth your annual reporting process get in touch for a no-obligation chat.
Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.