2021 Financial Reporting (FiRe) Award Launched

Public Sector Accounting Standards Board CEO, Fredrick Riaga (second right), with colleague CEOs: Wycliffe Shamiah of Capital Markets Authority (left), Geoffrey Odundo of Nairobi Securities Exchange (second left) and Nzomo Mutuku of Retirement Benefits Authority (right) during the launch of the 19th edition of the Excellence in Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards 2021. The launch marks the outset of Financial Reports submissions from reporting entities for assessment ahead of this year’s FiRe Award Ceremony on the 17th of December 2021.

Nairobi – September 22, 2021 – The 19th edition of the Excellence in Financial Reporting (FiRe) Award has today been launched, inviting reporting entities to submit their Financial Reports for assessment for this year’s FiRe Award.

Private sector entries are open from today, the 22 September 2021, to 30 October 2021. Public sector entities will be expected to submit their financial reports for assessment from today to 30th October 2021. The FiRe Award is aimed at reviewing financial reporting compliance levels among corporate entities.

This year, the Retirements Benefits Authority (RBA) has joined as a new promoter of the FiRe Award. The other promoters of the Award are the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB), Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), and the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). Following RBA’s move to join the FiRe Award, all registered Retirement Benefits Schemes can now participate by submitting their latest financial statements for evaluation and award in the “Pension Schemes Category”.

This year’s event focuses on how the COVID 19 pandemic has affected businesses and livelihoods. The event will also highlight strategies adopted by organisations to remain profitable and deliver services to their clients. The theme of this year’s award is “Promoting Financial Reporting Excellence In An Uncertain Global Economy”.

PSASB Chief Executive Officer, Fredrick Riaga, said that FiRe Award is an indispensable event for improving entities’ compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) reporting framework for transparency and accountability. He added that the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by entities has boosted business efficiencies, enhanced comparability and better communication with stakeholders. “IPSAS and IFRS adoption has largely been positive in reducing investment risks and attracting capital. Disclosure of financial information has also helped in fostering financial prudence and public participation in financial management. This has indeed contributed to the enhancement of accountability and transparency of public funds,” Mr. Riaga said.

The CMA Chief Executive Officer, FCPA Wycliffe Shamiah, said, ‘’COVID-19 still poses risks to regulated entities but the relaxation of the containment measures has resulted in positive signs of economic recovery, which is expected to lead to improved profitability for the listed and regulated entities’’. Mr. Shamiah observed that the capital markets have remained resilient, and is optimistic that the projected economic growth will support a steady recovery of the market”.

ICPAK Chief Executive Officer, CPA Edwin Makori, noted that the pandemic has greatly revolutionised accounting in the country. “The pandemic has significantly changed how financial reporting is done. Over the years, our focus has been on the requirements of the standards. This year, our focus is on the practical challenges of applying the Accounting Standards amidst COVID-19,” said CPA Makori.

The NSE Chief Executive and Chairman of the FIRE Award Executive Committee, Mr Geoffery Odundo, observed that “The heightened turmoil in global financial markets, precipitated by the ongoing pandemic calls for a sound reporting and disclosure framework. This will ensure that investment decisions are based on accurate and timely information and enhance confidence in the capital markets while also lowering barriers to access to capital for issuers.”

RBA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Nzomo Mutuku said that “RBA is delighted to join the FiRe Award promoters to upscale the financial reporting of registered retirement benefits schemes. “We hope that through this partnership, RBA will strengthen its regulatory role and enhance financial disclosure by Retirement Benefit Schemes which control over Kshs.1.2 trillion worth of assets’’.

Some of the areas that will be evaluated in this year’s Award include governance, environmental and sustainability reporting, compliance with applicable Accounting Standards and overall presentation of Annual Reports and Financial Statements.

Last year, FiRe Award attracted 244 entities from the public sector and 50 from the private sector, with similar numbers or more expected this year as the public sector deepens participation. The FiRe Award ceremony will be held on 17 December 2021 to recognise the best performing entities.