The Institute for Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) has published a guidance note setting out what it views as good practice for the content of annual reports.  ICSA's view is that an annual report can generate more value for a company if it is seen as a communication opportunity rather than a compliance exercise.  The guidance note stresses that good annual reports should provide real insight into a company, its strategy, how the board behaves and works, and how it manages risk, and should provide an honest "warts and all" appraisal of the year under review.

The guidance note sets out in brief what is expected for each part of the annual report and gives examples of approaches it considers to be the best examples of annual reports, strategic reports, board reporting, audit and risk reports, remuneration reporting and sustainability and stakeholder reporting by companies.

The 2014 winners of ICSA's Excellence in Governance awards for each of the categories mentioned above are included in the note.

The guidance note 'Good practice for annual reports' can be found here.

The companies that were shortlisted and the winners of the 2014 ICSA Excellence in Governance Awards can be foundhere.