Indiana CPA Society Achieves Another "First"

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INCPAS Only Association or State CPA Society to Prepare Integrated Report

Indiana CPA Society Integrated Report
In presenting the whole picture, an organization can elevate opportunities and identify blind spots. By examining skills and competitive advantage, it can cause an organization to act and react.

Just three months after announcing a landmark pilot program with the Indiana Board of Accountancy that made Indiana the first state to accept competency-based education for CPAs, the Indiana CPA Society has achieved a second "first."

Approved by its board of directors in late August, INCPAS has released its first integrated report. The Indiana Society becomes the first state CPA society in the country, as well as the first association of any kind nationwide to prepare its own integrated report. INCPAS produced the report to serve as an example for its members, their clients and employers.

Integrated reporting is a new form of comprehensive business reporting that incorporates all aspects of business performance in a concise report format. The movement toward integrated reporting worldwide has been spearheaded by the International Integrated Reporting Council. The IIRC first released a discussion paper in 2011, then a draft framework for integrated reporting in 2012, and finally the final version of the framework in late 2013.

"An integrated report really tells the whole story. It's so much more than an annual report," said INCPAS Chairman Kent Williams, CPA, CGMA, a business professor at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. "There is a significant benefit for any organization to go through the process of preparing an integrated report, and the finished product is beneficial for those leading and investing in the organization.

"In presenting the whole picture, an organization can elevate opportunities and identify blind spots," added Williams. "By examining skills and competitive advantage, it can cause an organization to act and react. It's definitely a thought-provoking read."

According to the IIRC, integrated reporting is a "process founded on integrated thinking that results in a periodic integrated report by an organization about value creation over time and related communications regarding aspects of value creation."

And the integrated report itself is described by the IIRC as "a concise communication about how an organization's strategy, governance, performance and prospects, in the context of its external environment, lead to the creation of value in the short, medium and long term."

Integrated reporting aims to accomplish these four things:

  • Improve the quality of information available
  • Promote a more cohesive and efficient approach to corporate reporting
  • Enhance accountability and stewardship
  • Support integrated thinking, decision-making and actions that focus on value creation

INCPAS began studying integrated reporting in early 2012, and formed a task force that explored its applications for both the Society and the CPA profession. Although the process of integrated reporting and the compilation of an integrated report involves professionals outside of the CPA profession, CPAs were viewed as the ideal professionals to lead the effort. The task force's work resulted in a white paper.

Integrated reporting involves much more than financial reporting, but the task force agreed that CPAs are well equipped to collaborate with others and incorporate their work into these new comprehensive reporting documents. Among the recommendations offered by the task force were the need for INCPAS to provide educational opportunities about integrated reporting for its members and to advocate for the implementation of integrated reporting. The white paper, released in late 2012, is available on the Society's website by clicking here.

"Integrated reporting is the future of business reporting," said INCPAS Vice President - Finance Jenny Norris, CPA, CGMA, who was responsible for compiling the report. "In representing and supporting the CPA profession in Indiana, we thought it was appropriate for the Indiana CPA Society to take this first step to help our members become not only more familiar with their professional association, but also to become more aware of integrated reporting and its future in the business world."

The INCPAS integrated report begins with assurances, the Society's mission, vision and values, and messages from the INCPAS chairman and president & CEO. It then provides brief descriptions of who the Society and who its members are, how we are governed and how we do what we do. It then goes into detail about the INCPAS business model, who we are accountable to, and what's happening in our and our members' environments. The report concludes with the Society's strategy, risks and opportunities, financial performance and future outlook.

The 30-page report is available on the Society's website at this link, and will be promoted to the INCPAS membership through various print and electronic communications.

There are many factors that have led to the emergence of integrated reporting. First and foremost is the increasing pace of change. Complexity and globalization are issues as well. Additional factors are that traditional numbers found in other business reports don't tell the full story, and that opinions about business performance need to be enhanced.

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About the Indiana CPA Society:

Currently, more than 7,000 CPAs in public practice, industry, government and education are members of the Indiana CPA Society. INCPAS serves the public interest as well as its members. Its members are required to abide by the CPA profession’s code of conduct. INCPAS members also receive access to quality educational programs provided by the Society, resources that enable them to better perform their job functions, and peer networking for information sharing that broadens their skills and knowledge base. Indiana CPA Society members are the most highly qualified and competent CPAs in Indiana. Make sure your CPA is a member of the Indiana CPA Society. For more information, visit incpas.org

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