The Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa (IRC of SA) unanimously voted to welcome the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) as a member as of 15 March 2017. It is a prestigious appointment that benefits both the IRC of SA and SAIPA, providing professional growth and development opportunities across the board.
“There are only eleven other organisational members, including one other IFAC accredited body in South Africa, which in itself is an achievement,” says Darren Gorton, Finance Executive, SAIPA. “The IRC of SA was founded in 2010 by Mervyn King, the creator of the King Report, and is focused on the need to develop better, and more sustainable, reporting standards. Our becoming a member of the institution is a privilege and forms part of our strategic vision for 2017 and beyond.”
Chaired by Professor Mervyn King and boasting institutional members such as the JSE, the IOD, SAICA, CIMA, the IIA and the Banking Association of South Africa, the IRC of SA plays a fundamental role in developing guidelines and good practice for Integrated Reporting. The latter ignites the development of Integrated Thinking which delivers tangible value to both Professional Accountants and their clients. By becoming members of the IRC of SA, SAIPA now offers its own members the chance to build their portfolios and expertise within this exacting and rewarding field.
“We are extremely focused on developing our own members and giving them the opportunities to become value creators,” explains Gorton. “This membership opens their access to learning and growth which will enhance their professional standing and capabilities.”
The financial reporting landscape today is dominated by listed companies thanks to the Corporate Governance principles outlined in King IV, which replaced King III effective from 1 April 2017. This is driven by the fact that organisations which wish to remain listed have to show how they meet these requirements. For unlisted companies, however, these standards remain optional. However even unlisted companies can obtain benefits from applying the thinking required in preparing integrated reports.
“Although integrated reports are the end result that companies aim to achieve, and which should be prepared to a high standard, it is Integrated Thinking that forms the foundation of Integrated Reporting,” says Gorton. “Integrated Thinking talks about the six capitals, such as financial capital and natural capital, and the way the organisation considers these and uses them to its advantage. Our members can now work towards becoming experts in this field, supporting their clients by helping them to establish the necessary processes to entrench Integrated Thinking in their organisation. This in turn can create substantial value for the organisation.”
Leading with excellence
“Integrated Thinking can be tied into stakeholders, into risks and opportunities, and into both long and short-term strategy,” says Gorton. “If it is done well it can be an excellent source of information.”
South Africa has played a critical role in the development of the concept of Integrated Reporting and many international bodies look to South Africa for leadership. This makes SAIPA’s entry into the IRC of SA even more prestigious and the opportunity for its members even richer.
SAIPA will be hosting its National Conference from 19 to 21 October 2017 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. With the theme Surviving Beyond the Numbers’, the event will offer members and stakeholders in the accounting industry the opportunity to come together and network, share knowledge and hear about updates in the industry.
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