Since the UK Companies Act paved the way the share of companies choosing this form of presentation had increased significantly from 37% in 2007 to now a dominant 67% in 2010. With this level the United Kingdom clearly stands out on an international level.
Development of format offered within FTSE-100:
- PDF – a PDF file of the report can be downloaded [2010: 24%]
- JPG show – is a 1 to 1 copy of the printed report pages are converted into JPG/images offering a flip through this image gallery [2010: 9%]
- Hybrid HTML – parts of the report are converted into HTML, others (eg Notes) are included just as PDF download [2010: 24%]
- HTML – the full content is converted into HTML [2010: 43%]This strong develepoment in favour of HTML reporting also introduced a new trend in the UK that we call hybrid HTML. It combines an HTML converted narrative section with PDF files of the Financial Statements and/or Notes. Nowhere else in the markets we are covering with our research (505 companies in 12 countries) these hybrid reports became that strong! It seems as if pressure via peer group research, best practice guidelines and rankings created a new genre of wannabe HTML reports.But in fact this approach is neither fish nor fowl. It clearly misses the point of reporting and instead draws the users attention at nicely tuned integration of flash and multimedia. It looks like a way how agencies can sell their multimedia stuff and still cope with small budgets.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with using flash and video within online reports but don’t that your audience is still looking for your hard stuff, too! Multimedia should add to usability and not swaped for information! Our aggregated statistics shows that the Financial Statements are always one of the top 5 hits wihtin all online reports. Not surprising for me, as it is all about reporting.And what clearly makes me shudder most is that well observed rankings fail to address this matter:
Something Is Rotten in the State of UK reporting.
What do you think?