While reading the 2017 annual reports of CBA and NAB, I came across certain things which makes the ineffective communication of the above stated annual reports, this leads to more time taken by me in analyzing the reports. These lacking principles of effective communication are as below ("Snapshot: Disclosure InitiativePrinciples of Disclosure", 2018):
In the annual report of NAB (National Australian Bank) ("Annual Financial Report 2017", 2018)
Free from unnecessary duplication – the information presented should be free from duplicated information, so that the investors can keep an eye on the important information without wasting much of their time. However, in the given annual report there are lots of information which are duplicated or unnecessary, for example, the report of directors which is 54 pages long and does not contains much required information, this report can be ignored and the management should provide only the relevant information without providing the whole report. Similarly, the management has provided the full remuneration committee report without giving its synopsis or summary. These reports can be ignored and only meaningful summary can be provided.
Organized to highlight important matters – The information presented should be well presented and organized so that the information can be easily read. However, the stated annual reports lacks on this area. The information presented does not contain proper headers specifically in financial reports and the reports are also not in good sequence. Notes are not in proper sequence and are not properly numbered.
Clear and simple – The presented information can be made simple and more understandable with the help of pie charts and graphs, as these pie charts and graphs are more easily understandable and has a long lasting impact on the users. However, in the annual report of NAB, this graphical presentation is missing.
In the annual report of CBA (Commonwealth Bank of Australia) ("Annual Report 2017", 2018)
Free from unnecessary duplication – Similar to above, the annual report of CBA also contains some unnecessary information. For example, the financial statements contains the details of year ended on 30 June 2015 as well. Whereas the companies are required to present the information for one comparative year only i.e. the CBA is required to present the information for year ended 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2016 only.
In an appropriate format - The information presented should be in an appropriate and common format prescribed. However, the income statement presented is not in the format as prescribed by Australian Accounting Standard Board. As per the prescribed format, the income statements should first contain the details of all revenues then all expenses and then should present the profit. Whereas, the company has not presented this in the above stated format. Similarly, the balance sheet is also not in the appropriate format and does not contains details as regard to current and non-current bifurcation.
Comparable – The information presented should be comparable with the information of companies in the same industry, so that the investors can compare the financial information of various companies and can take their investment decisions. Since, the presented information is not in the appropriate and prescribed format, so it makes the information of CBA incomparable with the information of other companies.
Clear and simple – The information is not simple and clear by its presentation as the notes are not in the proper format and sequence. The noted should start from the details of income statements and should end with the derivative instruments and other additional information. Whereas this is not the case in the presented annual reports.
My two biggest suggestions in these annual reports are as below:
Clear and simple presentation – The information should be clearly presented with proper sequencing and added graphical presentations. More and more graphical presentations should be used as it gives a clear picture of the details to be presented.
Appropriate format – The format used for preparation and presentation of financial information should be correct and should adhere with the requirements of relevant AASBs. As the AASBs prescribe the common format and these common formats help the investors to compare the information for various companies with one another and helps in taking the decisions as to which company they need to make the investment.
Snapshot: Disclosure Initiative—Principles of Disclosure. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.ifrs.org/-/media/project/disclosure-initative/disclosure-initiative-principles-of-disclosure/discussion-paper/education-materials/principles-of-disclosure-snapshot-2017.pdf?la=en&hash=46F7C67CABF7B5CE758F9FF2BB8AFECC3C41338C
Annual Financial Report 2017. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.nab.com.au/content/dam/nabrwd/About-Us/shareholder-centre/documents/2017-annual-financial-report.pdf
Annual Report 2017. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.republicast.com/CBA01/2017/CBA01/7dc72817b6424c698aa1cf78342b7bf4/2017%20Annual%20Report.pdf