It makes sense to provide different options for reading annual reports on screen.
In the shareholder area of its corporate website, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country’s biggest bank by market capitalisation, gives visitors the option of downloading its Annual Review PDF in single-page or double page view format.
Annual reviews back to 2010 are offered with these two options – although when we checked, the 2016 double-page link led to the single page PDF, an oversight (the other double-page PDF links worked fine).
Our research shows that analysts and private investors prefer annual reports in PDF format – which they tend to read on screen – over online versions of annual reports; so it makes sense to give investors two ways of viewing on screen.
Given the expense and time involved in creating online annual reports, it is also worth considering whether these are necessary – Commonwealth Bank is one of a number of companies that used to produce an online version of its annual review, but no longer does so.