Why Isn’t the Online Annual Report Standard?

annualrep.jpgChange is sometimes slow. It’s taken years for banks to have the guts to make paper statements optional, and I still get the occasional 100+ page prospectus for a mutual fund which goes straight into the bin – and millions of other bins around the world (I wonder how many people even want an annual prospectus).
Annual Reports, however, are something differet – they are meant to be glossy, fancy showcases of information and accomplishments with just enough financial details to make them readable. The sort of document that might actually be interesting. Many annual reports now contain non financial accomplishments such as sustainability reporting and other green news. But the darn things are still shipped out by the zillions at great expense both financial and environmental and, as reported in Ethical Corporation, they do little to promote real dialogue. Enter web based technology. In addition to saving paper, an online annual report, which could be more like an annual “event”, could create the same positive face annual report does but would open the doors to immensely valuable shareholder dialogue that otherwise never transpires. (Thx John!)

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He was instrumental in the creation of TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years as well as an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.