Untuk (semakin) meyakinkan tentang pentingnya annual report – yang dalam konteks ini dimaksudkan untuk perguruan tinggi -, saya kutipkan secara utuh perspektive tentang annual report dari Guthrie et al. (2005).
All forms of data reaching the public domain can be considered part of the accountability-discharge activity of an organisation (Gray et al., 1995a, b). Ideally, all communications by an organisation should be monitored if one is to capture all corporate IC external reporting.
However, the problem with this standard is that it is impossible to be certain that all communications have been identified (Gray et al., 1995a, b). Reducing the focus of investigation to annual reports offers a relevant and useful proxy. Annual reports are highly useful sources of information, because managers of companies commonly signal what is important through the reporting mechanism. The annual report is viewed as a communication device that allows a corporation to connect with various external and internal stakeholders (GuthrieandPetty,2000). Annual reports also have the advantage of being regularly produced and offer an opportunity for a comparative analysis of management attitudes and policies across reporting periods (Niemark, 1995, pp. 100-1).
The vast amount of prior social and environmental reporting (SER) research (e.g. Cowen et al., 1987; Guthrie and Parker, 1989, 1990; Roberts, 1992; Neu et al., 1998) establishes the annual report as a major medium for communicating social and environmental information to public. Campbell (2000) indicated that annual reports can be accepted as an appropriate barometer of a company’s attitude towards social reporting for two reasons: the company has complete editorial control over the document (except the audited financial section); and it is usually the most widely distributed public document produced by the company. In many jurisdictions, annual reports are required by legislation and are produced on a regular basis by all companies. This makes comparisons relatively easy (Tilt, 2001).