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WEBSITE FEATURE ANALYSIS

The aggregate category scores analyzed above do not reveal some important differences in the individual features comprising each category. Since it is through these features that companies create effective reporting websites, we examined them in order to gain insights into exactly what a company needs to do to improve its corporate reporting website. These data are shown in Tables 8.7 (by SASB sector), 8.8 (by region), 8 .9 (by country), 8.10 (by size),

TABLE 8.7 Global 500 Reporting Website Features by Sector

Global 500 Reporting Website Features by Sector

TABLE 8.8 Global 500 Reporting Website Features by Region

Number of

Social

Videos

Feedback

Account

Games

Webcasts

Contact

Tools

Excel

Custom

XBRL

Region

Companies

Media (%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%1

(%)

Asia

187

34

14

3

0

0

19

9

25

13

2

4

Europe

15C

83

47

10

6

0

71

63

67

31

4

5

Latin America and the

13

62

15

0

0

8

38

8

54

38

0

0

Caribbean

North America

141

88

38

6

2

1

84

35

72

72

4

73

Oceania

9

78

11

0

0

0

89

44

78

11

0

0

Average score

66

31

6

2

0

54

33

52

36

3

24

TABLE 8.9 Global 500 Reporting Website Features by Country

Number of Social Videos Feedback Account

Games

Webcasts

Contact

Tools

Excel

Custom

XBRL

Country

Companies

Media (%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

United States

131

89

38

7

2

1

83

36

71

76

3

78

China

84

12

10

0

0

0

5

6

5

0

0

0

Japan

61

48

21

5

0

0

34

0

41

26

5

10

France

31

87

48

19

6

0

61

45

45

13

3

0

United Kingdom 30

80

60

7

0

0

8C

60

90

43

0

10

Germany

29

76

52

10

21

0

66

76

62

33

7

0

Average score

62

33

6

3

0

54

29

49

39

3

30

TABLE 8.10 Global 500 Reporting Website Features by Size

Global 500 Reporting Website Features by Size

8.11 (by type), and 8.12 (for companies publishing an integrated report). As expected, much of the variation in these specific features matches the patterns discussed above, since these categories are comprised of the items shown in these tables. While some features, such as social media, are used by most of the Global 500, others, like providing data in the Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format, are used by very few. Most companies could dramatically improve the quality of their corporate reporting website with relatively little effort.

Two-thirds of these companies use social media; one-half use webcasts and provide tools for users to help analyze data; one-third provide videos, the name of a specific contact person at the company (vs. a general "Investor Relations" email address); and one-quarter provide data in XBRL. Very few companies ask for feedback on their website (29 companies), ask the user to create an account so they can analyze website usage by type of person (12 companies), enable the user to create a "custom report," or provide interactive games to help the audience understand the trade-offs the company is grappling with (two companies). The larger companies, especially the largest 100, are more likely to have taken advantage of most of these features. The exception lies in asking for the user to register an account, to participate in instructive games, or create a custom report; even for the very largest companies, only an extremely small percentage have this functionality on their website. This raises the question of whether these are simply not important features or whether even the largest companies are only beginning to tap into the power of the Internet. The private companies, as expected, have extremely low scores: 0% on 4 of the 11 factors and less than 5% on 8. One-quarter use social media and a little more than 1 in 10 had videos.

Unlike financial reporting, integrated reporting can perform a transformation function. With this in mind, we looked for evidence of companies trying to do so by comparing the integrated reporting companies to the Global 500. For the entire sample of integrated reporting companies, they score noticeably higher on providing the name of a specific contact (67% vs. 33%) and tools for analysis (77% vs. 52%). Both features contribute to the transformation function. The latter enables the user to better understand the meaning of what the company is reporting. Perhaps indicative of a desire for greater engagement that comes with integrated reporting, the former gives the user an accessible channel through which he or she can ask the company questions. The latter indicates a desire to foster integrated thinking on the part of the audience. On all other features, this group looks about the same as the Global 500. However, again we found a few areas in which the South African

TABLE 3.11 Global 500 Reporting Website Features by Type of Company

Number of

Social

Videos

Feedback

Account

Games

Webcasts

Contact

Tools

Excel

Custom

XBRL

Ranking

Companies

Media (%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%1

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Listed

415

74

34

7

3

0

65

38

63

42

3

29

Unlisted

85

26

13

0

0

0

4

11

2

2

1

0

Average score

66

31

6

2

0

54

33

5?

36

3

TABLE 8.12 Website Features of Integrated Reporting Companies

Number of Social Videos Feedback Account

Games

Webcasts

Contact

Tools

Excel

Custom

XBRL

Region

Companies

Media (%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Non-South

42

83

38

5

0

5

60

67

76

60

21

5

Africa

South Africa

10

70

0

0

0

0

70

7C

80

20

0

0

Average score

81

31

4

0

4

62

67

77

52

17

4

companies are notably weaker: videos (0% vs. 38%) and providing data in Excel spreadsheets (20% vs. 60%).

 
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