Terms of reference for an annual report design committee

By Published On: February 24th, 2020

It’s that time of year for companies to start thinking about their annual report design process. Yes, that painful time of year.

Having been a part of the design and project management process of annual reports for many years, I have seen what can go wrong and have a simple but effective structure to make the annual report design process less painful.

I recommend that a EXCO committee be set up to oversee the annual report design and project management process.

The members of the annual report design committee should be:-

  1. The CEO
  2. The FD
  3. The Company Secretary
  4. The Head of Corporate Affairs and Marketing
  5. Marketing department staff
  6. PA to the CEO

The committee should meet every 2 weeks for the first 2 months of the year, then every week until completion. The quorum of the committee should be at least one of 1,2, 3 and at least one of 4,5 and 6. The following may form the basis of a committee terms of reference:-

– to provide overall guidance and input into the corporate and strategic messaging of the annual report design, imagery and messaging

– to oversee the interface between the company and consultants and advisers and procure the smooth implementation of the annual report process

– to attend meetings in accordance with a strict timetable of implementation and to procure the completion of all tasks and activities

– to record the minutes and matters arising from the annual report project meetings and ensure that committee members are aware of, and action the same

– to communicate proactively with other members of the Annual Report Committee

– to receive and curate information and messaging for inclusion in the annual report and to ensure that such data/information is approved in final format and verified by more than one company staff member before submission to the annual report consultants (information must be final before submission)

– to ensure that appropriate imagery is procured for the annual report and stored appropriately (in an online album) and accessible to the appropriate parties for ease of use

– to oversee a central online repository of all final approved design and corporate identity IP (logos, trademarks, adverts, pamphlets and imagery etc) that may be used in the annual report

– to ensure that customs and clearing fees and documentation are processed efficiently and in a timely manner for annual reports when they are imported (if applicable)

– to agree a standardised set of disclosures and protocols for names of persons, businesses, services, qualifications and any other text that may appear in the annual report

– to communicate and coordinate with all company staff involved in the annual report design process to ensure the successful completion of the project

Implementing an annual report design project without planning is a no no.

I hope the terms of reference above alleviates some of the risk of the design and project implementation. If I have left anything out please let me know.

About the Author: Rob Stangroom

Rob Stangroom
My mandate for listed companies in Africa is to commercially leverage direct contacts with retail and professional investors. AfricanFinancials is an initiative for listed companies, by listed companies to implement good communications governance and investor relations practices. Many companies don’t care about retail investors, BUT in the modern day of social and digital media theýre missing out on commercial opportunity: an investor typically is and should be a customer.
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