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The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has won their fourth Gold Award in Financial Reporting, beating 108 organisations which submitted their annual reports for evaluation in the 2022 Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards competition.

In second position came Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, taking the Silver Award, while Centenary Rural Development Group Limited came third with the Bronze Award.

While presenting the Award to the Fund, the   Chairperson of the FiRe Awards Committee, CPA Stephen Ineget noted that the organisation provided a clear and detailed explanation of its value-creation process, highlighting the key inputs, business activities, outputs, and outcomes.

NSSF also won the Gold Award in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

The list of FiRe Awards Gold Awardees since the inception of the Awards stands as follows:

  1. Centenary Rural Development Bank: 2011
  2. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited: 2012
  3. Umeme Limited: 2013
  4. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited: 2014
  5. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited: 2015
  6. Lion Assurance: 2016
  7. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited: 2017
  8. National Social Security Fund: 2018
  9. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited: 2019
  10. National Social Security Fund: 2020
  11. National Social Security Fund: 2021
  12. National Social Security Fund: 2022

The Gold Award is the highest honour in Financial Reporting. It is issued to the organisation which demonstrates the highest level of adherence to the guiding principles and content elements of the Integrated Reporting (IR) Framework.

Issued by the IFRS Foundation, the IR framework provides robust reporting guidelines which aim at improving the quality of information that is available to providers of capital. It requires organisations to demonstrate how they interactively use the six capital: natural, intellectual, financial, human, manufactured, and social to create value for the organisation and its stakeholders.  

NSSF also won the 2022 Public Sector Award, and received Certificates of Recognition for their achievements in:

  • Corporate Governance Reporting,
  • Sustainability Reporting, and
  • Presentation and Communication.

CPA Stephen Ineget noted that there had been an overall increase in the adoption of the Integrated Reporting framework by the reporting entities assessed.

Of the 108 reports that were considered for evaluation for the 2022 FiRe Awards, 24 (about 22%) entities’ reports were identified as Integrated Reports or prepared as such,” the Chairman noted.

He, however, noted that entities still have some ground to cover in fully appreciating the purpose and content of an integrated report and encouraged them to utilise the  feedback reports provided by the evaluators. He also encouraged organisations to re-examine their business models, refocus strategies, and reposition themselves to create sustainable and long-term value.

The Chief Guest, Hon. Henry Musasizi, the Minister of State for Finance (General Duties) emphasized the government’s commitment to ensuring that entities report on the impact of climate and gender issues.

“Government strengthened its commitment to realising equal opportunities in planning and budgeting by enacting the Public Finance Management Act of 2015 and integrating gender and equity budgeting as an integral part of budgeting and financial management in the country,” the Minister said.

Mr. Keith Kalyegira, the CEO of the Capital Markets Authority noted that investors put their trust in an organization, by how well it is governed.

“Higher governance practices increase a business’ ability to obtain a premium in its value while raising capital or obtain a lower cost of financing while raising debt capital,” he said.

“There is therefore a strong direct relation between governance and the cost of capital. The better your governance, the lower your cost of financing and the higher your ability to raise equity capital,” he added.

Alison Kwikiriza Serucaca, the Legal and Compliance Manager at USE noted that the FiRe Awards are extremely important to the market and to building confidence in the securities market participants, both from the investors’ perspective and from those that seek to raise capital through the market.

“The FiRe Awards represents everything that holds the stock market together in terms of transparency and full, timely and accurate disclosure, and this is the fabric that holds the stock market together,” she said.

CPA Constant Othieno Mayende, President of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) noted that a major setback to the growth of the FiRe Awards, is the failure of many small businesses to prepare financial records. He noted that this presents challenges in tax administration, and advised small businesses to take advantage of the free business advisory services which ICPAU is providing in partnership with accounting firms.

“As our contribution towards recovering from the effects of COVID-19, in March this year, ICPAU introduced probono business advisory services through which small businesses are paired with accounting firms to provide them with the basics of accounting, assurance advisory, and other accountancy services,” he said.

The Financial Reporting Awards were introduced in 2011 to enhance the quality of financial and business reporting in Uganda by encouraging the implementation of international financial reporting standards as well as best practices in financial and business reporting. In 1998, ICPAU adopted the International Accounting Standards for use in Uganda, and therefore, it became imperative for the Institute to monitor the level of compliance with the standards, hence the introduction of the FiRe Awards.

Participation in the FiRe Awards is by submission of an organisation’s most recent annual report. Submission of the report is free and the Awards are open to organisations in all sectors, including the public, private and Not-for-Profit sectors.

Since the inception of the FiRe Awards in 2011, over 938 organisations have been impacted. Among other benefits, participants have cited: the ability to benchmark their annual reports with up-to-date financial reporting requirements, recognition for excellence in financial reporting, and receipt of free expert feedback.

The 2022 FiRe Awards were held on 10 November at Hotel Africana, under the theme, Corporate Reporting: Strengthening Environmental Social and Governance reporting. The Awards are organised by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda, in partnership with the Capital Markets Authority, the Uganda Securities Exchange and New Vision, as the media partner. The sponsors of the 2022 FiRe Awards were Bank of Uganda and the Deposit Protection Fund.

Click here to view full list of winners.