The Benefits of Total Impact Measurement and Management

Understanding the game of XBRL business validations
January 13, 2014
According to a recent study, 93 percent of CEOs surveyed globally believe that measuring their companies' total impact could help identify and manage risks and strengthen relationships with stakeholders. Total Impact Measurement and Management (TIMM) involves a new way of measuring business success by looking beyond financial data.

Let's take a closer look at each component of TIMM:

Total: A holistic approach to measuring social, environmental, fiscal, and economic dimensions of a company. This gives the opportunity for investors to see the bigger picture of a company's sustainability and long-term viability.

Impact: Understanding that an organization's actions as well as their outcomes affect society. This involves reporting the total footprint of an organization as it conducts its business.

Measurement: Quantifying all impacts in order to make more informed business decisions. These decisions can then be effectively communicated to investors in order to build stronger relationships.

Management: Evaluating business options and making trade-offs in order to make better decisions. Cutting cost is one area that might lead to negative consequences in another. It is important to assign a monetary value to each impact identified in order to appropriately assess each decision made.

Four out of five CEOs surveyed believe using information from a TIMM analysis would help them make better business decisions about the future and improve long-term financial performance.

One of the outcomes of TIMM is "good growth." Naturally, good growth includes an appropriate gain for investors, but also involves looking past revenues to evaluate the impacts business operations will experience in the future. Long-term visions are the core to good growth. The financial profitability of a company is still an important aspect of business sustainability. However, good growth also benefits the entire community, including all employees of the organization.

Despite all the benefits of TIMM, only 60 percent of organizations surveyed measured their environmental impact, and only 51 percent reported that information externally. One of the main struggles is the ability to collect the data needed to evaluate a company's total impact.

Another hurdle is a consistent measurement framework. Organizations not only need to collect information, but they also need the ability to compare this data in order to successfully analyze its results. TIMM will have the greatest overall effect if it can be communicated to stakeholders in a meaningful, transparent way.

For more information about TIMM and good growth watch this video featuring PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global Head of Sustainability Services, Malcolm Preston.


McGill, A., Kerr, J., Retana, J., Ambler, M., Graham, M., Howlett, N....Beagent, T. "Measuring and managing total impact: A new language for business decisions." (2013). PricewaterhouseCoopers. Retrieved from

"93% of CEOs Say Measure Environmental Impacts." (2013). Environmental Leader. Retrieved from
Francis Quinn

About the author

Francis Quinn is the Director of Corporate Sustainability Technologies for Workiva. Before joining Workiva, he directed sustainable development for L’Oréal in Paris.