NIRI Annual Reports Survey: Five percent of respondents produce online-only version

Annual reporting 3NIRI National has just released their Annual Report Survey which shows that 67% of companies surveyed now produce both an online and a print version of their annual report.

The Annual Report Survey is a periodic study by NIRI of the practices, trends and expense associated with producing all forms of a company’s annual report. It comprises longitudinal trends as well as survey results from NIRI corporate investor relations practitioner members.

We all know that annual reports are a significant investment for many companies and a key communications vehicle, and NIRI’s purpose here is clear – to not only help organizations benchmark against their peers, but to articulate trends impacting this vital investor relations tool.

Overall, the survey found that an annual report is a must, according to 88 percent of respondents – a number which has held steady for the last seven years. Those that did not produce such a report indicated that cost and budget was a main a factor (cost of median 50 thousand).

One of the surprising figures of the report is that five percent of companies release online-only copies. More surprising is that 16 percent of respondents’ mail out print-only versions yet the most common way to announce the release of the published report is online via PDF (91%).

Annual reporting 2The report has simplified in the last decade or so averaging four to six pages this year, down from seven to 10 from five years ago. The survey found that of the content added to those four to six pages, a letter from the CEO is most important at 87 percent of 2015 annual reports. CSR, competition and future quantifiable objectives related content are included less than 20 percent of the time.

The good digital news is that incorporating visuals in reports is slightly rising. Twenty-four percent use infographics in some form in their reports whether to announce future goals or financials.

For more on this report you will need to visit the NIRI website and sign in. If you have any questions about your annual reporting or would like to discuss your options just let us know. We can be contacted on We can offer anything from a simple PDF to a full reporting microsite and embedded report.

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