Financial reporting for Crown organizations

Great financial reporting for Crown organizations tells a clear story about vision, achievement and strategy. Learn what makes for a winner in the Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting for Crowns.

Canadian taxpayers expect the very best of their Crown organizations, particularly in the field of financial reporting.

The challenges of a Crown organization are many. As a quasi-public institution, you’re limited by a number of factors, including how you can raise money and what kind of investments you can make.

Financial reporting within the Crowns sector is an evolving field, so keeping pace is critical. Some of the emerging trends in 2017 include more integration of financial and non-financial information, enhanced connectivity between strategy, risk, and performance, and the continued rise of corporate social responsibility.

The federal and provincial Crowns that captured Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting in 2016 demonstrated they are up to the challenge. The Crowns category was divided into three divisions: Federal Crown (large); Federal Crown (small); and Provincial Crowns.

FIVE TIPS FOR CROWN ORGANIZATIONS LOOKING TO IMPROVE THEIR CORPORATE REPORTING:

1. Integration is key
Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which won in the Federal Crown (large) category, best exemplified a highly integrated report, with strong linkage to the organization’s mission and strategic objectives.

2. Create an interactive MD&A
An MD&A that offers points for discussion and feedback engages your audience. SaskPower, which won in the Provincial Crowns division, offered an MD&A that provided solid discussions on risk and mitigation strategies, as well as the related corporate pillars.

3. Keep it visual
Telefilm Canada, which won in the Federal Crown (small) category and SaskPower both created annual reports that made excellent utilization of colour, tables and charts to provide a good understanding of each organization’s activities and strategic pillars.

4. Ensure vision from the top
Crowns that effectively communicated their mission and strategy each started with a strong letter from their chair. The CDIC, in particular, offered a chairman’s letter with a thorough overview of the economic landscape and its impact on the CDIC’s current and planned activities.

5. Disclose corporate governance moves
It’s critical to reflect key changes to the makeup of your C-suite. SaskPower was notable in the thoroughness of its governance disclosures: the background, experience and responsibilities of board members and execs was made explicit, while changes in positions were well-documented.

Download the 2016 Judges’ Book for profiles on all of last year’s winners.
Entries for the 2017 program will be accepted until June 30.

KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING

Have any tips on excellent reporting for Crowns? Post a comment below.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of CPA Canada.

About the Author

Marc Burchett, CPA, CA

Marc is an assurance partner with KPMG with over 30 years of experience working with clients in all stages of operations, from start-ups through to reporting issuers. Beyond his client responsibilities, Marc also serves as a professional practice partner providing accounting and auditing assistance to engagement teams within KPMG’s enterprise practice.