Small and medium enterprises have been challenged to embrace the use of professional accountants to provide technical skills for business development and comply with international accounting standards.
The State minister for Finance in charge of General duties Henry Musasizi says this will help to boost the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)which are the majority of business operations in the country’s economy.
Officiating the 2022 annual Financial Reporting (FiRE) Awards organized by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), Musasizi says professional accountants are always essential in helping businesses to achieve their strategic goals.
Minister Musasizi agrees with ICPAU President Constant Mayende that as a country we have a challenge that most of the small companies do not want to prepare good financial reports and as a result the government is not able to collect the taxes it would be collecting.
Applauding the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda for organizing the FiRE Awards for the last 12 years, Musasizi says eventually the Small Businesses will emulate the Award-winning organizations and they will improve as far as financial reporting is concerned.
“With this kind of demonstration how proud you are for winning , am sure even the small companies will want to copy from you they will want to learn from you and be like you, eventually we will improve in their financial reporting , I thank you for leading by example,” said Musasizi.
The President of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants-Uganda Constant Othieno Mayende said over the years the FiRE Awards have encouraged effective communication of financial and business information, promoted international standards and practices in financial reporting, which have impacted the competitiveness among organisations and businesses.
Mayende noted that FiRE Awards will continue to promote transparency, integrity, and accountability in the corporate reporting process.
The 2022 Financial Reporting Awards under the theme Corporate Reporting: Strengthening Environment, Social and Governance Reporting were won by NSSF taking away the Gold Award, Stanbic bank settled in the second position with a Silver Award followed by Centenary Bank with a Bronze Award.
Organizations participate in the FiRE Awards by submitting their most recent Annual report for evaluation and the highest complying entities are recognized and thereby rewarded.
Congratulating all the participants, Mayende revealed that the FiRE Awards committee will give them feedback reports which helps them improve their financial reporting and subsequently benefits the entire economy.
Referring to the theme of the day, “Corporate Reporting: Strengthening Environment, Social and Governance Reporting” Mayende called on organizations to be deliberate on good governance and also embrace more of online activities in order to reduce the use of paper to protect the environment
On his part the minister reveals that the government is currently undertaking a public expenditure and accountability assessment 2022 to provide a baseline for the government to start a holistic approach to reporting beyond pure financial and integrate Environmental, Social and Governance issues.
“after adoption of the assessment findings and recommendation in line with the Environmental, Social and Governance issue, the government will commence reforms to enhance reporting in these areas for stakeholders to make more informed decisions”-Musasizi.
Stressing government commitment towards enforcing the new standards of financial reporting and budgeting, Musasizi refers to the National audit act of 2008 that stipulates that the Auditor General shall conduct financial, value for money audits and any other audits such as gender and environment audits in respect to any project or activity involving public funds.