Inspiring excellence in corporate reporting

Goldcorp, Agrium, Bombardier and Telus took multiple prizes at the 2015 Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting.

Goldcorp was the big winner in the 2015 Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting, taking the Overall Award of Excellence, top honours for Sustainability Reporting and winning first place within its industry category. Agrium, Bombardier and Telus were also multiple winners at the 64th annual awards gala, which was held in December in Toronto.

In addition to acquiring bragging rights, publicly listed companies and Crown corporations enter the awards for the opportunity to receive report cards on the performance of their financial reporting. Judges, who are experts in financial reporting, sustainability reporting, corporate governance and electronic disclosure, assess entrants against current best practices.

“The program improves the overall quality of corporate reporting in Canada,” says incoming head judge Ron Salole. “People look to the winners. Their reports are a model.”

BIG CHANGES

Bill Buchanan, who retired as head judge, was honoured for his outstanding contribution over the years. “Since assuming this role almost 20 years ago, Bill has skillfully shepherded the program through times of significant change,” says Kevin Dancey, president and CEO of CPA Canada. “A heartfelt thank you for a job well done.”

Corporate reporting has evolved dramatically since Buchanan took the reins in 1996. “Decades ago, annual reports were thin affairs containing only financial statements,” he says. “Today a typical annual report can be up to 200 pages of information and graphics, plus a wealth of electronic disclosures.”

Salole, who is a member of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and former vice-president of standards at CPA Canada, says that highly sophisticated transactions that were rarely seen 20 years ago are commonplace nowadays. “Reporting has had to evolve to address the increased complexity.”

Scandals, market fluctuations, digital disruption of many industries and increasingly complex reporting rules have prompted companies to spend more time on their corporate reporting. The program has helped reporters meet expectations by providing benchmarks of excellence that keep pace with the changing reporting landscape.

“The appetite for information has become greater,” says Salole. Everyone from individual investors to pension fund managers is demanding both big-picture and deep-dig information. The Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting helps Canadian companies by providing examples of best practices that keep in step with change.

OUR REPORT ON REPORTING

Yes, corporate reporting is growing ever-more complex. That’s why CPA Canada sorts through the layers with a new brief called An Evolving Corporate Reporting Landscape: A Briefing on Sustainability Reporting, Integrated Reporting and Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting. The brief looks at industry guidelines and explains how companies should prioritize aspects of reporting guidelines to best serve their stakeholders. You can download the report at cpacanada.ca/voluntarycorporatereporting.

About the Author

Diane Peters


Diane Peters is a freelance writer in Toronto.

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