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CA Sri Lanka launches integrated reporting implementation guide for corporate sector

In its capacity as the sole authority to promulgate accounting and auditing standards in the country, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), unveiled the ‘Preparer’s Guide to Integrated Corporate Reporting,’ an illustrative implementation guide to facilitate corporates in the country to produce a more comprehensive integrated report.

The implementation guide which incorporates relevant developments and emerging trends on integrated corporate reporting worldwide, was launched on 24th July 2015 in the presence of Mr. Thilak Karunaratne, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the chief guest and Mr. Yaya W Junardy, member of the UN Global Compact Board (UNGCB), guest of honour at the event.

President of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Arjuna Herath said that the institute has always been mindful of local and global changes and trends, and have taken every step necessary to adopt with these changes to ensure corporate reporting in Sri Lanka remains both current and relevant.

“In our capacity as the national body of accountants, and as the national standard setter in financial reporting, CA Sri Lanka is committed to building the required trust in the financial markets. The role we play at a public level goes beyond facilitating reliable financial information and the institute facilitates adequate reporting needs of investors and its stakeholders, making our scope much wider. It is in this context CA Sri Lanka thought it was important to issue an implementation guide on Integrated Corporate Reporting to ensure the annual reports produced by corporate entities in this country fulfills expectations of investors and other stakeholders. This implementation guide will facilitate the preparation of annual reports which are consistent, comparable, and possess greater clarity and indicate value creation that take place in the enterprise including sustainability of the enterprise,” Mr. Herath said.

He also disclosed that the guide issued by CA Sri Lanka incorporates principles enunciated by International Integrated Reporting Council, Global Reporting Initiative, and UN Global Compact, thereby providing a comprehensive framework for corporate reporting with greater transparency and accountability relevant to all stakeholders and society.

Chairman of the CA Sri Lanka Integrated Corporate Reporting Committee, Mr. Asite Talwatte emphasized that Integrated Reporting has gathered momentum, acceptance and adoption in many capital markets, with Sri Lanka too been an early adapter with several of large listed Corporates also adopting the International Integrated Reporting Council framework.

“CA Sri Lanka took the initiative to set up a Committee to deliberate the fundamentals of the framework in the Sri Lankan context, to set the foundation for a concise and yet comprehensive communication of how an organization’s value creation strategy, business model, performance, governance, risk management and outlook could be presented to demonstrate how value is created to capitals and stakeholders in the short, medium and longer term,” he noted.

Mr. Talwatte emphasized that the implementation guide by CA Sri Lanka recognizes co-existence of integrated reporting, sustainability reporting and financial reporting alongside strategy, governance and risk management to provide sustainable value and capital enhancement.

“Under these guidelines integrated reports will encompass the key performance indicators in an integrated, comprehensive, cohesive and concise manner. We expect this guide to take away the mystique of integrated reporting enabling a wider group of corporates to embark on this journey of inclusive, responsive, relevant and reliable corporate reporting,” he added.

Meanwhile in a special message featured in the CA Sri Lanka guide, Mr. Georg Kell, Executive Director of the United National Global Compact said; “as business has gone global, it’s relationship to society is fundamentally changing. The ability to proactively manage environmental, social and governance issues is increasingly critical to long – term success. And a growing number of companies, investors and policy makers understand the importance of transparently reporting on these issues. Integrated reporting is rapidly becoming indispensable for companies to navigate this transition.”

Mr. Jonathan Labrey, Chief Strategy Officer of the International Integrated Reporting Council welcoming the publication of the guide by CA Sri Lanka said; “the IIRC very much hopes that this document will support and encourage business in Sri Lanka, as they begin the journey towards <IR> adoption. It is clear that the momentum towards the adoption of <IR> globally is building, and organisations such as CA Sri Lanka are crucial in offering practical tips, as businesses evolve their reporting to communicate a clear, concise, integrated story that explains how all of their resources are creating value.”

The launch ceremony also saw the participation of Vice President of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe, CEO of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Aruna Alwis, as well as members of the corporate community.