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Entries are now open for CA Sri Lanka’s highly acclaimed TAGS Awards 2022 to crown the best corporates

Marking a new chapter in financial and non-financial reporting, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) on Wednesday announced that it is accepting applications for the highly acclaimed TAGS Awards 2022 as it aims to crown the best corporates for promoting transparency, accountability, governance and sustainability by publishing insightful Annual Reports.

The TAGS Awards, formerly known as the Annual Report Awards, which commands an impeccable history spanning over half a century, in its 57th year, welcomes any organisation that produces an Annual Report, including multinational companies, conglomerates, SMEs, and even small-time community groups, as well as NGOs and NPOs to apply and get recognised, for upholding the integrity of financial, environmental, social, and governance reporting with a key emphasis on transparency and sustainability.

Organisations producing annual reports can register for the highly acclaimed competition by providing their Annual Reports for the Financial Year ending on 31st December 2021 or 31st March 2022. Applications will be accepted from 24th August to 16th September 2022.

The announcement was made at a press conference held under the patronage of CA Sri Lanka President Mr. Sanjaya Bandara, Vice President Mr. Heshana Kuruppu, Chairman of the TAGS Awards Committee Mr. Thivanka Jayasinghe, Chief Executive Officer Ms. Dulani Fernando and Alternate Chairperson of the TAGS Awards Committee Ms. Chamila Cooray, as well as Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Mr. Dilshan Wirasekara and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike.

Mr. Sanjaya Bandara, President of CA Sri Lanka, said that change is essential if we are to face today’s environment with confidence and the TAGS Awards aim to reflect these changes, which are not only pertinent in the current volatile business environment but also aim to gear companies, both big and small for future challenges.

He noted that while the Annual Report Awards Competition had a particular focus on financial reporting for over half a century, the reconceptualized TAGS Awards will take on a new format with a specific emphasis on both non-financial and financial reporting.

"A key feature of this competition will be how organisations continue to remain transparent and accountable and how businesses, regardless of their size or profits, are making the necessary efforts to give back to society and protect the planet. I am confident that the TAGS Awards will be an important platform for going beyond conventional expectations from businesses."

Mr. Thivanka Jayasinghe, Chairman of the TAGS Awards Committee, highlighted that the Annual Report is considered the single most important disclosure of an organisation’s performance. "Whilst the presentation and disclosure of financial statements have evolved and kept pace with global developments, there has been an increased focus on enhancing the non-financial reporting elements of an annual report so that there is adequate coverage, consistency and comparability, especially in an environment where there is increasing emphasis being placed on transparency, accountability, governance and sustainability," he said.

According to him, increased emphasis on the non-financial reporting aspects covering governance, environment, risk management and social will also improve the accountability element in reporting. "As such we expect more companies to embrace independent assurance of the non-financial elements contained in annual reports.”

Mr. Jayasinghe added that this year in line with the new reconceptualization of the awards, several new sectors have been introduced while the committee has also revisited and revised the special category awards sector.

The best annual reports will be recognized as the "Overall Winner" under gold, silver and bronze categories, while companies will also be awarded under 29 sectors representing  Banking Institutions, Diversified Holdings, Finance Companies, Leasing Companies & Other Financial Institutions, Food & Beverages Companies, Healthcare Institutions, Trading Companies, Hotel Companies, Insurance Companies, Land & Property Companies, Manufacturing Companies, Motor Companies, Telecommunication & Technology Companies, Unit Trusts, Media & Entertainment, State Corporations & Statutory Boards, Plantation Companies, Construction Companies, Power & Energy Companies, Not-For-Profit Organisations (NPO), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), Small and Medium-Sized Entities, Education Services, Newly Listed Companies and Service Organisations.

Apart from the overall and the sector winners, the TAGS Awards 2022 will also honour companies under four special categories for Corporate Governance Disclosure, Sustainability Reporting, Integrated Reporting, and Digital Transformation.

The evaluation of annual reports will be carried out in line with an automated marking system in an effort to engage technology as an enabler to drive forward the competition. A total of three rounds of evaluation and judging will be carried out, with the first round comprising of around 250 Chartered Accountants, who will carry out the technical marking, followed by the industry expert marking process, comprising of around 40 experts in the industry representing different sectors. The final evaluation will be carried out by the Final Panel of Judges, which will comprise of an eminent panel of experts representing commercial enterprises, regulatory authorities, and academia.

The winners will be honoured at a gala awards ceremony on 01st December 2022 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo.