The first time I took the position of ‘Junior Content Developer’, I imagined I would be writing content for blogs, advertisements, company profiles, or social media. During my first days in September, my colleagues were getting ready for this ‘annual report season’. Honestly, I was completely blind. Annual report? Why would there be a season for it?
Fortunately, Dekode gave us training on this annual report as preparation for the annual report season. My first reaction after the training was, “Oh, so this kind of corporate information are publicly accessible.” Before this, I thought the information available in an annual report were confidential. I was relieved to know that companies are forced to be transparent.
The content of an Annual Report is regulated by the Financial Services Authority as the regulator. I thought that in writing an annual report, I would have to memorize all the relevant laws prevailing in Indonesia. Fortunately for me, that was not the case. Nonetheless, the information is automatically embedded in our memory, since they were frequently visited, analyzed, and applied. In the process, I found that writing alone was not enough. Since annual report is treated as a legal document, I had to help the company understand and comply with the prevailing laws. In essence, I was acting as an annual report consultant for the companies I handled.
Moving on to the writing process. I was not familiar at all with the topic at hand. One of the chapters titled Management Discussion and Analysis contains analysis on the company’s financial performance. Studying the references made me wonder, “Do I have to study economics first?” The references given to me, including a banking annual report containing sophisticated financial terms, I grew more worried. But, since we worked in a team and several of my colleagues and seniors were experienced annual report writer, I wasn’t ‘lost’ for too long. I could ask for guidance whenever I felt lost.
I also learned for the first time about the Good Corporate Governance (GCG) system, an operational and management system for companies to ensure effective and sound business management. It was fun writing the GCG chapter, including the Corporate Social Responsibilities section, which discusses the company’s effort to be responsible to the community, environment, consumers, and employees. When writing this chapter, I could see the character, humanity, and intention of a company.
Along the way, writing each chapter was a unique story and challenge. When I found out that the annual report development system lasted for about four to five months. I was worried. I was sure that the four-month annual report period would be really boring. As it turned out, when April came to an end, I didn’t even realize that four months had already passed. I gained a lot of knowledge. Through research, I was forced to learn to understand economic dynamics and their implications on each industry. In turn, I gained more knowledge on different industries and their characteristics. In addition, the annual report writing process involves other things beyond sitting behind my laptop. I had the opportunity to meet many people, including interviewing members of the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Directors of various companies. It was a remarkable experience that exposed me to many new things.
by Stephanie Pascalita