by Anaïs Wojcik Racamier
Are you convinced of the business opportunities and the competitive edge that non-financial reporting can bring to your company? But are you still looking to find the right reporting tool? Sopra Steria can support and guide you in comparing and selecting the non-financial reporting tools that best meet your strategic and operational requirements.
Although financial reporting (IFRS) and non-financial or corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting can complement each other in positive ways and have a mutually enriching effect, CSR reporting is still sometimes considered, to put it really bluntly, a necessary evil. It is an exercise that some companies feel they simply need to do, be it for compliance or other reasons, but that they do not necessarily find of great value to their business.
Creating business value
Now, it is true that CSR reporting - like any kind of reporting, to be honest - can be a bit burdensome and even a downright challenge in some cases. However, if done well, it can also create a number of business opportunities that drive competitive advantage. Apart from helping companies to meet their stakeholders’ expectations, it can also allow them, for instance, to increase their revenues and to reduce their operational costs.
As always, in order to do this regular reporting exercise well and actually profit from the continuous monitoring that goes with it, the right tools are required. And this is where it tends to get difficult. For, even though the number of CSR reporting tools available in the market has notably increased, their diversity and the difficulties in comparing their performance have led some companies to use temporary solutions. Which obviously is far from perfect, if only because this usually turns out to be a costly approach - and not always a very efficient or effective one at that.
Other companies have opted to develop their own reporting tool. Which can actually be an effective approach, if also a costly one in most instances. And this is where Sopra Steria comes in: our personalised benchmark of CSR reporting solutions can help you in taking those critical make-or-buy decisions.
Unfortunately, to this day no CSR reporting tool on the market really stands out. Therefore, when looking to select such a tool, companies do well to carefully analyse the available market offer, always keeping in mind their own specific reporting needs but also the requirements of the industry they operate in. For the trend, these days are for regulations to impose more and more sectoral specificities.
This trend in turn makes it essential for companies to select a reporting tool that is able to meet their sectoral requirements as well as their strategic challenges - not just today, but also in the future. Imagine, for example, a supplier of reporting software who has ten major, important customers in the energy sector and only one such customer in the banking industry. This particular supplier will probably prioritise the needs and wishes of the former and integrate more energy sector specificities in his reporting tool. He will also be better able or equipped to anticipate sectoral developments, making his reporting tool a more lasting one.
Analysing and benchmarking the available CSR reporting tools on the market may be easier said than done, though. And many companies that wish to reap the business benefits of such a tool may simply not be up to the task. To facilitate their CSR tooling selection process, our experts have come up with a new service offering that does exactly that: it offers those companies a personalised benchmark of CSR reporting solutions. That benchmark is based on tangible feedback, both quantitative and qualitative, derived from questionnaires, discussions, customers, and our own working experience. It also integrates a more in-depth and detailed study on 24 out of 43 pre-selected CSR reporting tools. Needless to say, our overall approach for benchmarking is a technologically agnostic one.
Would you like to find out more about this new service offering? My colleagues and I will be only too glad to help you, so don’t hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org