It is time to think of the annual accounting process from a different perspective – rather than seeing accounts as a compliance and legal necessity that for most business owners are never used for anything else – see it as an opportunity to report on much more and to differentiate yourselves from your competitors.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to the wider impact your company has – the social, environmental, economic and regeneration impacts and differences you make beyond your financial profit. This is sometimes referred to as triple bottom line reporting, as the reporting includes people, planet and profits, and can be used to highlight good practice by businesses.
However, most businesses still just prepare basic financial accounts and miss the opportunity to incorporate information on their wider impacts, mainly because they are not measuring this. Where businesses take the time to measure and report on what matters – their social, environmental, economic and regeneration impacts – it has been proven to have the following benefits:
- Staff are more motivated as they can be involved in wider initiatives and see that the business thinks about more than just the share price or profits
- Greater brand awareness with customers and the local community
- Proof of your social, environmental and economic credentials
- Increased sales and more consumers buying from you
- Ability to effectively tender for public sector service contracts
- Demonstrates you are at the forefront of Social Value and CSR reporting
- Showing you are ethical or socially orientated in how you operate