The Case for Paperless Reports

BY MATTHEW R. JOHNSON

I am writing with regard to the “Paperless Reports Shunned” Top Line article (Jan. 2007, p. 14). The article stated that a majority of investors, portfolio managers and other financial statement users prefer to receive financial reports and annual reports in printed format.

I think that this is a shame given the technology that is available. If the publishers of financial information would distribute the reports in an unlocked PDF format, and the users of the financial statements were educated on using the technology, I think that paperless reports would deliver more value to the users of the financial information.

Given that many users travel, it is not practical to carry around volumes of printed materials. I know that users like to mark up the documents with their notes and comments as they review financial reports. Distributing financial reports in an unlocked manner, allowing users to mark their thoughts on the paperless reports will allow them to use the financial reports as if they were printed, while enhancing the portability of the document.

In addition, paperless reports allow users to perform enhanced searches, adding value to the reports since the users are able to quickly find information of interest.

Matthew R. Johnson, MPA, CPA
Omaha, Neb.

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