The annual report as a quality statement

Hans Peter Nehmer
Hans Peter Nehmer

Even more markedly than in previous years, there was very little difference between the quality of this year's top-rated annual reports. Twelve reports were chosen from the best by content and design juries, and were then submitted to the final jury for appraisal. In many respects, other companies may draw upon these as shining examples.

And that is precisely the purpose of our Swiss annual report rating. Lauding quality, thereby providing other companies with ideas about how to improve their own quality and to encourage them to distinguish themselves from the ordinary. These days, many key decision-makers with responsibility for annual reports keep a close eye on what the best do better. This is demonstrated by rising demand for the evaluation criteria we use in our rating.

In order to reward those who have the courage to leave well-trodden paths, and persuade executive boards and boards of directors to go down a new and better path, this year we also created the category "Newcomer of the Year". Our aim is to highlight companies who have made an impressive leap in quality. The first awards have gone to Mikron (investor relations) and Valiant (design). Congratulations!

But to return to the best: As with all corporate publishing products, what is particularly noticeable about the annual reports is the fact that the printed page remains as important as ever. The switch from print to online that was prophesied a number of years ago has still not (yet) materialised. However, considerable resources have been invested in online annual reporting. It is more user-friendly, clearer, sometimes includes multimedia functions, and is also aimed at the needs of smartphone and tablet users.

It would appear that communicators remain convinced that their owners, employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders want something physical and high-quality in the hand – perhaps as compensation for the often abstract raw figures and the elusive intangible assets.

Hans Peter Nehmer
HarbourClub – Member of the Board of Directors