Recently Germany’s manager magazin asked all companies, that are part of their annual survey on printed annual reports, to declare on the accessibility of their reports. It sounds a bit strange to me to check accessibility if you are dedicated to rank the quality of printed annual reports.
In fact this was already part of last year’s survey, when the PDF version offered on the website was checked for accessibility through a list of criterias. Now, more consequently the 200 companies being part of german DAX, MDAX, SDAX, TecDAX as well as international Stoxx-50, were invited to submit the URL of their online annual report to be checked instead. Companies that decline this offer, will be included like last year with their PDF. Comparing the two lists this seems fair enough. An average online report will get a good rate quite easily. So the choice for those offering an HTML version of their annual report is simple -> send them the URL.
But, the real question to me seems: Why do they just pick such a minor issue from the whole universe of new media to be included in their survey on printed reports? Is there nothing else of importance than how companies present their annual reports online than to be accessible? Obviously the manager magazine did not want to enter the field of integrated surveys like others do. As this is a whole lot of work, I do understand this could be an evolutionary approach, maybe. But than again, I wouldn’t pick accessibility to be the first step.
See all criterias at:
ps. by the way, the PDFs offered for download are not accessible…