Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
CA Sri Lanka holds 49th Annual Report awards
By Sarah Hannan
The benchmark for transparency, corporate governance and excellence in financial reporting, the 49th Annual Report Awards Competition organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) was held on Tuesday, 10 December.
Revolving around the inspiring theme ‘One Destination – Towards Integrated Reporting,’ this year’s awards focused on envisioning the future of annual reporting in light of the global context. Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest while Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was the Guest of Honour.
Welcoming the evening’s guests and winners, CA Annual Report Awards Committee 2013 Chairman Tishan Subasinghe stated: “This year’s theme aims to introduce excellence in integrated reporting for the annual reports from 2014 onwards and will follow the criteria set out by the International Integrated Reporting Committee. Each year we witness the participating companies expand their boundaries by enhancing the quality of annual reporting. A record number of registrations were received this year since the event kicked off 49 years ago, with a total of 126 companies vying for the coveted awards is a reflection of increased significance placed on good governance and transparency, which was the very foundation of the competition.”
CA Sri Lanka President Sujeewa Rajapakse in his address said: “At a juncture when Sri Lanka is poised to make significant economic advancements, an annual report produced by a corporate can be an important contributing factor in Sri Lanka’s development oriented journey. Over the years, the competition has set high standards among organisations in line with global standards which promote transparency, corporate governance and excellence in financial reporting.”
Rajapakse also noted that in the recent years, there has been remarkable improvement in company disclosures in comparison to several years back. “I believe the competition is one reason for such improved disclosure by organisations, both small and large. For the first time since the launch of the competition, special focus has also been given to the Small and Medium Sized Entities (SMEs), giving the SMEs sector a rare opportunity to benchmark themselves among others in their respective sector, thereby increasing the number of sectors at this year’s competition to 23.”
Landmark of excellence
Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, the Guest of Honour, sharing his views at the ceremony stated: “This awards is a key landmark of excellence in financial reporting. The criteria followed by the judges are strong and robust and ensures that the best practices are followed. The increasing quality and high standards of reporting sets the respective industries in higher levels. If we look at the recent stats of the Global Economic Index Sri Lanka out of 146 countries is ranked at the 65th position. If you take it at the regional level Sri Lanka is on the top 50 countries in economic growth. Sri Lanka as a country given its international relations and geographic location has two major assets: we have a good relationship with China and we are closely located to India.”
Dr. Coomaraswamy reiterated that as a county we need to focus on four key aspects: We need to make strategic decisions, to achieve the 34% savings on investments we need to attract more foreign direct investments, increase our exports and provide the necessary vocational training to meet the requirements in the job market. He went on to say that the best chances and best opportunities are out there and the private and public sector should collaborate to attract these opportunities.
Chief Guest Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa stated: “The Annual Report Awards is a valuable progress for the corporate sector. Sri Lanka is moving toward a sustainable growth and this is a period of test for resilience. Transparency, accountability and good governance are key tools to measure a company’s success through their annual reports. The continuously rising standard of reporting and accountability through these awards is appreciated at this time. The Government of Sri Lanka is seeking a fiscal deficit reduction of 5.2% by the end of this year and aims to bring it down to 3.2% by 2016. We are not a nation that needs to be run on fiscal deficits as such. The increasing numbers of mega hotel chains, high-rise building, the increased amounts of tourists visiting Sri Lanka and the progress in the rural areas are contributing towards the government’s goal. As companies you need to know that an annual report is also a good marketing tool to attract investors and contribute towards fine tuning and achieving the country’s economic development.”
Pix by Lasantha Kumara