Integrated Reporting is having a profound impact on corporate thinking and reporting. Value is being assessed on the basis of the sources of value creation used by an organisation and not through a financial lens alone. In Chief Value Officer: Accountants Can Save the Planet, Mervyn King, a global corporate governance and reporting leader, challenges some of the systemic issues preventing organisations from managing in an integrated value-creation way.
The shareholder-centric governance model, currently favoured by most companies, will not result in changes to corporate behaviour that can create value in a sustainable manner. The book, therefore, firmly places the accountant in the position of changemaker – the finance professional today should be more of a value officer than a financial officer. Consequently, the Chief Finance Officer should be known as the Chief Value Officer.
This book explains this new approach. It encapsulates the essential reasons for adopting integrated reporting, explains its application to date and proposes the next steps needed to achieve change that will improve business, social and environmental sustainability.
This book is a "must read” for every director, every CFO aka CVO, every accountant, as well as all stakeholders with high expectations for tomorrow’s companies to create value in responsible and sustainable ways.
If anyone has doubts about the transformational characteristics of sustainability, the author brilliantly demonstrates how influential the concept of sustainability has become. Organizations either adapt or face the consequences of a silo mentality; a refusal to implement the necessary and unstoppable changes presented in the idea of integrated thinking and reporting threatens the long-term sustainability of businesses and affects their relationships with stakeholders. Are the accountants and the Chief Value Office in charge of bringing and implementing “the change”? That remains to be seen.
This book is very powerful in the context of the next phase of the IIRC's strategy, which places corporate governance front and centre. The evolution of the finance profession is extremely well articulated, from Chief Finance Officer to Chief Value Officer…. It is a vital next step in governance. The more into the book you read, the more it feels like a manifesto for 21st-century corporate governance.
Chapter 1: History of the Limited Liability Company Chapter 2: The Ownerless Company Chapter 3: The Duties of a Director Chapter 4: The Exclusive and the Inclusive Approach to Governance Chapter 5: From Financial Reporting to Corporate Reporting Chapter 6: Sustainability Reporting and the Establishment of the IIRC Chapter 7: Shifts in the Corporate World Chapter 8: Integrated Thinking and the Integrated Report Chapter 9: The New Order Chapter 10: Value Creation Chapter 11: The Benefits of IR Chapter 12: The Role of Accountants in Creating Value Chapter 13: The Chief Value Officer Chapter 14: The Training of Accountants
Annex 1: The International Integrated Reporting Council Framework Annex 2: The Crown Estate Annex 3: The Standard Bank of South Africa Annex 4: The General Electric Company Annex 5: The Chartered Institute of Public Relations Annex 6: Sanford Annex 7: Sun International
MERVYN KING is Chairman of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and Chairman Emeritus of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). He is also Professor Extraordinaire at the University of South Africa.