Purpose – The purpose of this research is to find out the multi-dimensional ethical approach to accounting and reporting practices going on in India and abroad. What has been the shift in Reporting Practices by Indian companies? What drives the Indian companies to report on the non-financial matters?
Design/methodology/approach – This paper mainly focuses on the inclusion of Non-Financial Matters in the Corporate Annual Reports. An Empirical Survey was carried out and the questionnaires were administered to 122 respondents comprising of 75 academicians and 47 chartered accountants. This paper compares the perceptions of academicians and accounting professionals on the ethical reporting practices of the Indian companies.
Findings – The results were tested using the t-test analysis. The research suggests that more companies should report on their environmental, social, and corporate governance performance and find a way to express them in their Annual Reports and the reporting of data regarding the carbon emissions, energy use, pollution, impact on the local economy, etc., should be made mandatory for companies.
Research limitations/implications – The research included respondents who are currently living in Delhi. For more generalized opinion nationwide survey can be carried out. Another important category of stakeholder for judging the usability of Corporate Annual Reports could be the Institutional Investors.
Practical implications – The results of this study would help the policy makers in framing the guidelines for standardized annual reports, synergizing social and business interest needs on top priority. Corporate philanthropy needs to transform into the realm of core business and corporate social responsibility. Integrated reporting could pave the way for synthesizing financial and non-financial reporting into one form and give a holistic view of companies’ strategies to its stakeholders incorporating new dimensions of IFRS.
Social implications – More emphasis on Non-financial matters will certainly contribute in making the corporates more responsible to the society, environment, and to the future generations.