With this year’s FiRe Award theme being, “utilizing technology and innovation to enhance transparency of sustainability, governance and financial information.” The theme resonates with the critical role that technology plays in ensuring transparency of non-financial information disclosures, which give a wholesome view of organizational performance and its relevance in decision-making.
Mr Geoffrey Odundo, Chairman of the FiRe Award Executive Committee and CEO of NSE emphasised in his speech that integrating technology and innovation into financial reporting brings about a multitude of advantages, including heightened transparency, accuracy, speed, and efficiency.
“Automated systems and data analysis tools are heralded as key components that can minimize human errors and ensure that financial reports are up-to-date and transparent,” he explained.
Public and private sectors in the country were also urged by promoters of the Financial Reporting (FiRe) Award, to embrace disclosure of non-financial information as it plays a key role in business sustainability.
The disclosure of non-financial information is essential for building trust amongst the public by responding to their expectations and needs and by communicating with external stakeholders, including investors, on the need for sound decision making.
Mr. Geoffrey also noted that FiRe Award promotes financial reporting excellence, fosters sound corporate governance practices, and enhances corporate investment and environmental reporting in public and private sectors.
In addition, Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB), CEO Mr. Fredrick Riaga, said that as the demand for non-financial information disclosure increases, data collection and metrics development become a challenge.
To overcome this, public sector entities should leverage on technology to enhance transparency and sustainability in financial reporting.
“Even as PSASB and the National Treasury are making final touches on modalities of transitioning the country from cash to accrual accounting, public sector entities should strike a balance in reporting financial and non-financial information,” Mr. Riaga said.
ICPAK Chief Executive Officer, CPA Dr. Grace Kamau, complimented the FiRe Awards for recognizing and awarding the best reporting entities in East Africa.
The Award aims to promote integrated reporting by enhancing accountability, transparency, and integrity in compliance with appropriate financial reporting framework and other disclosures on governance, social and environmental reporting by private, public and other entities domiciled in East Africa.
“The disclosure of non-financial reporting will address the growing expectation from stakeholders on transparency and accountability. The changing market dynamics calls for disclosure on long term value creation and future trends. The disclosure of non-financial information will restore trust in business, reinforce the stability and predictability of business performance,” RBA Chief Executive, Mr. Charles Machira observed.
The CMA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wyckliffe Shamiah, also highlighted, ‘’The adoption of a wholistic approach to financial reporting to include disclosure of non-financial information is critical due to the growing concerns around governance practices, business sustainability and the contribution of corporate activity to climate change.”
Mr. Shamiah also welcomed the publication of the final standards for Sustainability-Related Financial Information (IFRS S1) and Climate-Related (IFRS S2) Disclosures by the International Sustainability Standards Board.
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