Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / 2:59 PM / Nifemi Taiyese for
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The prospects for building public trust in corporate financial reporting in Nigeria came to the fore at the 2019 edition of the Association of Reporting Accountants and Auditors in the Capital market conference in Lagos.
It was an opportunity for the reporting accountants and auditors in the capital market ecosystem, to discuss critical issues in the industry and financial market.
Mr. Alhassan S. Suleiman representing the special guest of honour Ms. Mary Uduk Acting DG, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), acknowledged the importance of the role of reporting accountants and auditors in the development of the capital market and the preparation of financial statement for companies.
He said the importance of financial reporting in the capital market could not be overemphasized because of investor confidence, and likewise the regulator's drive for the protection of investors is crucial to expanding the markets.
"The reporting accountants and auditor's services provides corporate guidance at all stages of the listing process. They are expected to prepare and review the financial statements of companies and provide certain opinions on the projected and forecasted financial statements, as required by rules governing capital markets transactions and perform financial due diligence for the directors and its adviser, and other relevant parties to the transactions" Alhassan Suleiman said.
The CEO of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Mr. Daniel Asapokhai, in his keynote address said professional accountants as regulators or as practitioners, continue to share the important perspectives and objectives as they work in the public interest.
He said that it is important for professional accountants in whatever capacity to keep in mind service to the public.
According to him, the theme of the conference "Public Trust in Corporate Financial Reporting" focuses on improving the quality of audits and rebuilding public trust by aligning with the highest ethical and professional standards.
"Auditors and reporting accountants are entrusted by law to conduct statutory audits of corporate entities, to enhance the degree of confidence of the public in the financial statements of such entities," Daniel Asapokhai said.
He asserted that "Trust" is an important determinant of macro-economic conditions such as economic growth and market efficiency.
Speaking on audit regulations in the public interest, he said the regulations would cover and bring regulatory clarity in the following areas;
Mr. Uyi Izekor, Partner, Deloitte in his presentation on "Corporate Reporting in a Digital Age," said exponential change is shaping a new world of business, and digital tools would leverage on the amount of data available.
"We are moving to an area of dashboarding whether on Ipad, laptop or phones, as there is a more digitalized environment around finance" Uyi Izekor said.
Speaking further on digital technologies and how they shape the way companies report their businesses, Izekor listed some of the tech tools and trends that are or would soon be commonplaced, to include;
The Deloitte Partner noted that it was important for corporate reporting to evolve because it would reduce cost (cost savings), raise customer demand and increase value creation.
He identified three key characteristics of transforming how financial reporting would get done in the future; these aspects of financial reporting would likely be intelligent, interactive and real-time.
The annual conference also featured robust panel sessions and recognition awards with an annual general meeting (AGM) for the ARAACAM members.