Preparations are currently underway for the 53rd Annual Report Awards competition organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka).
The competition, which has set a benchmark to enhance accountability and transparency across organisations, has seen a tremendous growth over the years, with a large number of organisations from large conglomerates to small-time community groups vying for honours at this prestigious annual competition, which has witnessed a consistent increase in applications on a yearly basis.
CA Sri Lanka President Lasantha Wickremasinghe highlighted that the Annual Report Awards has throughout its existence of more than half a century, maintained the highest standards in the marking process, by involving highly respected professionals including industry specialists, business leaders and chartered accountants who have always ensured that the competition’s independence remained at the highest level.
The Annual Report Awards competition commenced in 1964 with the primary objectives of enhancing accountability and transparency. Throughout the competition’s history, CA Sri Lanka has taken every effort to ensure that even the marking process has been carried out while maintaining the important elements of transparency and accountability.
Every year, the Annual Report Awards honours the most cohesive, clear and informative annual reports in the country which best reflect an entity’s operations, while going beyond their statutory boundaries of reporting. The competition is open to any organisation that produces an annual report including multinational companies to small-time community groups.
The annual reports are evaluated against established criteria and the winners are selected based on their ability to effectively communicate organisational objectives, performance, personnel and management information to an intended audience. In addition to the creativity and clarity of the presentation any additional relevant information such as the scale of operation, complexity and sophistication of operation are also considered in the evaluation process.
Annual reports are awarded under 22 sectors and for the disclosures in corporate governance, management commentary, integrated reporting, business model, capital management and corporate social responsibility.
Annual Report Awards committee
Once in every two years, an Annual Report Awards committee is appointed and the committee is responsible to ensure the smooth functioning of the process and the organising of the Annual Report Awards Ceremonies for the two respective years. The committee is independent from the decision of selecting the winners and the selection is purely done based on the marks awarded by the three independent marking panels.
Marking process and its transparency
The evaluation of the competition is carried out at three rounds. The initial selection process is conducted by a technical marking panel, consisting of members of CA Sri Lanka. Then the shortlisted annual reports are subjected to an intense technical review by a panel of industry experts consisting of an eminent panel with the related industry experience. At the third and final stage of judging, the shortlisted annual reports are reviewed by the final panel of judges. The overall winners are selected purely on merit, irrespective of the sector and the financial performance.
Every effort has been taken and will be taken by CA Sri Lanka to ensure that the marking process as well as the judging process is independent and organisations will be honoured for ensuring and enhancing transparency, accountability and good governance within.
The continuing increase in the number of applications year by year is testament to the fact that this competition has and will always maintain the highest forms of integrity and organisations be it big or small are honoured for ensuring that the company promotes the core pillars set out in the objectives of the competition. CA Sri Lanka has assured that it will maintain the same clarity, transparency, independence and accountability at the Annual Report Awards including at this year’s ceremony, which will be held in December 2017.