INTEgrated REporting for SMEs Transparency, the INTEREST project supported by the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union.

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<IR> Guide for SMEs

Based on the Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework, a practical handbook on how to measure and communicate SME performance in an integrated perspective will be developed.

GuidingDescription of the <IR> Guide for SMEs - from the project proposal:

The needs of SMEs concerning the evolution of their corporate reporting are multi-faceted. Nevertheless, most SMEs, albeit they can be innovative and prosperous, do not understand materiality of IR and even less have they the resources and the know-how to devote to IR and to disclosure of financial and non-financial data.

Understanding of the importance of IR for a supplier or would-be supplier of large companies, already obliged to prepare holistic reports, is an absolute necessity (trickle-down effect). Trust development of other stakeholders (potential investment providers, potential international partners, customers, etc. is not possible without disclosure of the value creation project overarching all kind of activities and capitals. That is why a chapter of the Guide will give short and clear-cut explanations why IR is necessary for SMEs on one side and how the different governments and other decision making bodies can encourage SMEs to start their journey towards IR on the other.

The guidance schemes elaborated by organisations specialised in IR (IIRC for instance) or countries (South Africa as a leader in the field) are still too complicated and their application is time-consuming for an SME. The experience-informed innovation of IO2 is, borrowing from IR guidance standards available at international level and based on the results of IO1, to simplify and adapt these standards to the peculiarities of the SMEs and to do this in a six-country context. Two major outcomes are:
  • The simplifications respecting the principles of integrated thinking will produce an easy access guidance for the SMEs already sensibilised by the mentioned first chapter of this IO. This exerts influence on the participants of the project (trainers, content developers, SME managers, accountants and students) during the project and will impact the SME populations of the partner countries in long-term.
  • The facilitation of the measurements (monetised and narrative) and reporting of both financial and non-financial (social and sustainable) performance across national boundaries. This makes crossborder transferability of IO2 in the EU and beyond feasible.

IO2 will offer an instruction chain complying with the seven Guiding Principles used by international standard setters (See: for instance Annex 8): Strategic focus and future orientation, Connectivity of information, Stakeholder relationship, Materiality, Conciseness, Reliability and completeness and Consistency and comparability.

The IR-Guide for SMEs will be a Manual of two chapters (sensibilisation and guidance) about 35 pages, translated to the languages of the partners.


Dr. Péter Soltész and László Varga
BBS - Budapest Business School
29-31 Markó Street,
H-1055 Budapest, Hungary
INTEREST project
EU flag Erasmus+
This project has been funded by the ERASMUS + programme of the European Union. The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.