The NSSF team at the FIRe Awards ceremony

Stanbic Bank and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) dominated this year’s Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards held Thursday at Serena Hotel.

The Stanbic team at the awards ceremony

Held under the theme, ‘Moving beyond numbers: Unlocking the value through reporting’ the night saw different institutions awarded in 13 categories, with Stanbic Bank winning the Annual Report of the Year, for the second time in a row. Stanbic Bank also won the Best Banking services category, Best Listed Entity award and Sustainability Reporting of the Year award.

NSSF, the other big winner at the awards, won the Best Corporate Governance award, Best Communication award and Best Public Sector award.

The UMEME team at the awards ceremony

The other winners included UMEME, KCCA, Bank of Uganda, NIC Holdings LTD and FINCA, and speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda, Louis Kasekende noted that a lot of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) never expand to become large firms due to limited capital.

Other winners

However, he advised that for firms seeking to mobilise capital by issuing equity or corporate bonds on the capital market, a history of financial reports is a prerequisite because the institutional investors, who are the main customers for corporate stocks and bonds, rely heavily on financial reports to evaluate prospective investments.

Other winners

“To maximise the benefit of financial reports for all stakeholders, it is essential that they be prepared according to international best practise, such as the IFRS 9, which will become mandatory in Uganda, as in the rest of the world, from the beginning of 2018. A common set of internationally recognised standards for financial reports allows everyone to understand precisely what the information contained in them means,” Dr. Kasekende said.

He added: “We also require high calibre professional accountants with the requisite expertise to prepare financial accounts to the highest standards. In this regard, I would like to commend the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda for their efforts to uphold the highest standards of accountancy and financial reporting in this country.”

In his remarks, the president of Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), Protazio Begumisa said that they had received 19 new entrants this year “and to us, every new entrant is celebrated for the growing usage of International Financial Reporting Standards in our country”.

“We note that a number of entities skip subsequent years after their first participation. We encourage such organisations to always stay in touch as a way of learning better ways on how to implement the evaluator’s report which is given to each participant,” Mr. Begumisa said.

“The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) being the national professional accountancy organisation in Uganda pledges its continued promotion and support of good financial reporting for the growth of businesses in particular and Uganda’s economy in general. We therefore call upon more organisations to embrace the drive to improve financial reporting and unlock the value beyond numbers for the development of our nation,” he added.