Annual Report: What investors want to see beyond the numbers

Posted in IRM News

Annual Report beyond numbers

Whether this is your first annual report as a listed company or you’ve been doing it for many years, you know investors eyeing your company use this document to get information on your business. They tap into your yearly report and other financial statements to assess an investment.

Aside from financial facts, investors will also draw on your annual report to learn the framework in which your business operates. They make it a starting point to look for signals about your organisation’s leadership and culture.

How investors engage with your annual report significantly affects how they will perceive your company. Because they would want to invest in a company that is not only competent but can also be trusted, right?

Perhaps the thoughts below will serve as a bit of a refresher or affirmation as you work on your manuscript. Pretty sure you know these already. But just to sort of set your mind for the work ahead, here are a few ideas on what investors want to see in your annual report:

1. Investors want to see CLEAR REPORTING. 

Making your annual report simple and straight to the point will help investors engage in it. In fact, highlighting the most essential information will get your message across as you outline your entire financial period.

The tone and content of your reporting is vital as it can potentially affect investment decisions, particularly in relation to investors’ perception of your management. Investors feel more confident about companies providing information in a clear and concise manner.

Clear reportingCommunicate facts clearly and concisely for better engagement.

2. Investors want to see INSIGHTFUL CONTEXT. 

It’s not just about the numbers. While these are important, investors don’t only want to see your financial performance in your annual report. They also need insightful context to your data so they can understand your business.

Contextual information in your annual report will communicate your company’s story. These details can further be brought to life with colourful images and graphs that showcase your fiscal year as well as business outlook.

Insightful contextProvide insightful context for investors to better understand the numbers.

3. Investors want to see REAL-LIFE MILESTONES.

Personalise your report with your own images, as much as possible. This will creatively share facts with supporting visuals that convey authenticity and promote your brand.

Another way to highlight milestones is to feature how your achievements have created an impact to your employees, community or others around you. This will get investors emotionally invested in your brand as you give real-life situations that put things into perspective.

Authentic milestonesFeature real-life scenarios to express authenticity in your milestones.

In winding up

As you craft your annual report, keep in mind how investors want to see beyond the numbers in your document. With clear reporting, insightful context and authentic milestones, you'll express confidence as you showcase data that demonstrates your successes this year. All the best with your annual report!

We’re here to help

If you want investors to understand your business and build their trust in your company, you’ll need a well-designed annual report.

IRM’s team has been designing annual reports for ASX listed companies since 2002. We have the experience and expertise you’re looking for. View our latest client reports here.

Drop us a line today at to discuss your requirements. Or speak to us on +61 2 8705 5444 so we can walk you through the process.