From left: Prof. Samanthi Senaratne, D.S.W. Andradi, Kusal Nissanka, Suresh Gooneratne, Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, Sanjay Gupta, Asiten Talwatte, Aruni Rajakariar, Prasantha Abeykoon and Sutheash Balasubramaniam
A half-day workshop on ‘Integrated Reporting – Practical Aspects’ was conducted by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA) recently at Taj Samudra.
The objective of this workshop was to build integrated reporting capacity of companies and help accountants and other individuals to acquire and strengthen skills that will support them as they adopt integrated reporting.
This will enable companies preparing integrated reports (IR) to achieve excellence, improve their reports and enter the CMA Excellence in IR Awards 2017, which will be held in July this year. The ten best integrated reports will receive awards together with the overall winner and runner-up. A special award will also be made for the most concise report and the small and medium category. A sector award will be given for the banks and financial sector and for industry and commerce.
The International Reporting Council (IIRC) has set up the IR training programme in 2015, which celebrated its first anniversary and this programme was conducted to coincide with the completion of the first anniversary. The training programme was conducted based on the guidelines of IR training on the learning outcomes approach from the IR Competence Matrix, which includes the knowledge, skills and behaviours organisations need to adopt integrated reporting and realize its benefits.
The workshop was inaugurated by CMA President Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, who explained the importance of companies adopting the IIRC framework in the preparation of IRs. He also stated that Sri Lankan companies are far ahead of their regional counterparts and around 40 companies had entered the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reports Awards competition last year. He was also thankful to IIRC for supporting the institute in this event and the conduct of training programmes.
The keynote address on ‘Understanding IR’ was delivered by Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) Chief Financial Officer Suresh Gooneratne, who shared his experiences on integrated reporting. DIMO is one of the pioneers and an active participant of the IR Business Network which helps companies on all stages of the journey towards integrated reporting.
Recently DIMO won the award for the Best Integrated Report in South Asia conducted by the South Asian Federation of Accountants. It was also the winner of the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards in 2015 and 2016. He spoke on the practical aspects and the importance of the six capitals and how they should be presented in the integrated report.
At the outset of the panel discussion moderator Management Systems (Pvt.) Limited and Integrated Reporting Council of Sri Lanka Board of Management Chairman Asite Talwatte shared his experience on ‘Awareness of the Integrated Reporting Practical Aspects’. This was followed by a lively discussion with the panel of experts on IR. The following matters were discussed by the panellists. Importance of stakeholder relationships, materiality, consistency and reliability, strategic focus and future orientation, governance, value creation process and the capitals financial, manufacturing, intellectual, human, social and natural were discussed.
Institute of Cost Accountants of India Vice President Sanjay Gupta stated that the Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has issued a circular on February 7, 2017 advising top 500 listed companies, which are required to prepare Business Responsibility Report (BRR) to adopt IR on a voluntary basis for the financial year 2017-2018.
CMA President Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala stated that a recommendation will be sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka to consider adoption of IR for all quoted companies.
This workshop gave an opportunity to participants to obtain clarifications the preparation of an IR.