The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has won the Gold Award at the 10th edition of the Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards, beating 84 organisations which submitted their 2019 financial reports for evaluation. The Fund has won their second Gold Award, having previously won Gold in 2018. The FiRe Awards were held on 4 November 2020 at the Skyz Hotel and broadcast live via the Zoom platform and Facebook.
Organized by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), in partnership with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) and the Vision Group, the FiRe Awards were introduced in 2011 to promote and enhance the quality of financial and business reporting for business growth in Uganda. The aim is to encourage the implementation of financial reporting standards as well as other best practices in financial reporting.
According to the Financial Reporting Awards Committee, NSSF presented an all-round integrated report and demonstrated a high level of adherence to the guiding principles and content elements of the International Integrated Reporting Framework. The Committee particularly appreciated the comprehensive explanation of the value that the organization has created for each stakeholder category during the period.
“The FiRe Awards Committee is satisfied that NSSF provided the most exemplary integrated annual report with clear commitment to the highest standards of financial and business reporting,” said CPA Stephen Ineget, the Chairman of the FiRe Awards Committee.
NSSF also bagged three other Awards: the Sustainability Reporting Award, the Presentation and Communication Award and Public Sector category Award.
In his acceptance speech, the NSSF Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Stevens Henry Mwanje acknowledged the support of the Managing Director, the Executive Committee and the annual report team. He also attributed the organisation’s success to benchmarking and continuously learning from other entities.
“When we start out, the key objective is to see how we are going to communicate to members and shareholders,” he said. “The reports are very insightful, we read reports of various organisations and borrow a thing or two,” Mr. Mwanje added. He emphasized that although competition is good, the key aspect is the uplifting of the standard of financial reporting.
NSSF has won several accolades in Financial Reporting over the years, including:
- 2019 Integrated Report of the Year - Bronze
- 2019 Presentation and Communication Award
- 2019 Public Sector category Award
- 2018 Corporate Governance Award
- 2018 Public Sector Award
- 2017 Integrated Report of the Year - Silver
- 2017 Corporate Governance
- 2017 Presentation and Communication Award
- 2017 Public Sector category Award
- 2016 Corporate Governance Award
- 2016 Sustainability Reporting Award
- 2015 Corporate Governance Award
Baylor Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation Uganda won the Most Improved report Award for showing a strong commitment to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the 2019 FiRe Awards feedback report and adequately addressing the financial reporting issues previously identified.
In the Reporting under the IFRS for SMEs category, Child’s i Foundation emerged the winner. They were recognized for embracing the simplifications available under the IFRS for SMEs standard, and providing useful and relevant information in its annual report.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Paul Bwiso, the Chief Executive Officer of USE noted that high quality financial reporting is at the heart of the Uganda Securities Exchange as investors require to assess the risk on return therefore they depend on financial reports and related disclosures to evaluate the expected risk on return on their investment. Reliable, relevant, and transparent assist investors.
“Reliable, relevant, transparent and accurate financial statements assist investors by reducing the risk of the unknown thereby facilitating investment and enabling businesses to raise high capital,” Mr. Bwiso said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Capital Markets Authority, Mr. Keith Kalyegira noted that good financial reporting is the gateway to any supporter, funder or investor and one of the key hallmarks of transparency hence the relevance of standardisation.
The Call for Entries for the 2020 FiRe Awards opened on 1 June and closed on 5 October. There were 13 categories namely: commercial banks, microfinance deposit-taking institutions, retirement benefits schemes, insurance companies, insurance brokers, loss adjustors & surveyors, public sector, regulatory bodies & associations, not-for-profit organizations, SACCOS & cooperative societies, consumer & industrial products, forex bureaux, and stock brokers.
CPA Ineget noted that there was a dip in participation, from 100 entries is 2019 to 84 in 2020, owing to COVID-19-related restrictions and challenges, as some organisations explained that they were not able to finalize their annual reports in time for submission.
CPA Frederick Kibbedi, the 8th President of ICPAU urged organisations to embrace Integrated Reporting in order to promote the economic growth of Uganda.
“Economic growth largely depends on proper financial management of businesses, which is evidenced through financial reporting that complies with the global standards,” he said.
801 participants attended the event: 413 via Faceboook, 356 Zoom and 31 physical.