Virtual celebration of best in Irish corporate reporting

The organisers of the 43rd annual Published Accounts Awards praised this year’s ‘exceptional’ standard of financial reports

8th November, 2020
Áine Crotty - Chairman of Chartered Accountants Leinster Society

The Published Accounts Awards celebrate the best in Irish corporate reporting in companies, state bodies and charitable organisations, large and small throughout Ireland. Now in their 43rd year, the awards, sponsored by Euronext, took place virtually for the first time with guest MC Síle Seoige.

“The interest in the Published Accounts Awards has gone from strength to strength. Even in this virtual world we still had a high level of applications this year and increased participation in the process by our technical reviewers and judges,” said the chairwoman of Chartered Accountants Leinster Society, Áine Crotty.

DCC was named overall winner of the Chartered Accountants Leinster Society Published Accounts Awards 2020. It was also awarded winner in the ‘Company listed on a foreign market’ category.

“The Leinster Society is proud of the role the awards have played over the last 43 years in recognising and highlighting the ‘best in class’ of corporate reporting. It is the society’s aim to continue to play this important role in showcasing the very best, for others to follow for many years to come,” said Crotty.

She said the awards recognise the significant amount of work which goes into an annual report and are a positive reflection on efforts to focus on transparent stakeholder communications. “We continue to increase the breadth of our awards and are very conscious of ensuring the relevance of these in 2020 and beyond. Therefore we introduced some amendments to the awards this year.

“Firstly, we merged our CSR & Sustainability Awards as the judges felt there were a number of overlapping qualities within these categories. We also split this award out between our listed and non-listed entities. Secondly, we introduced a highly commended Diversity & Inclusion Award.”

The judges felt that the not-for-profit sector deserved some mention in this category. This sector does not benefit from the same resources available to larger corporates to produce a detailed report and therefore they felt that one of the not-for-profit entrants in particular, while not the overall winner of this category, should receive a highly commended Diversity & Inclusion Award.

Aedín Morkan of Mazars was one of this year’s judges for the not-for-profit sector entrants. She said the standard of entries for the Published Accounts Awards was once again very high this year notwithstanding the challenging circumstances all organisations have found themselves in.

“Those organisations with the ambition to be best in class really do adopt the ethos of continuous improvement, innovation and evolution in terms of their financial reporting. Those which focus on emerging issues – such as diversity, inclusion, gender pay gap, cyber security, sustainability, ESG – and do so in a meaningful and authentic way stand out from the crowd.”

The judging panel noted that reports using clear language, that was precise and explained complex accounting and reporting issues without jargon, scored highly. The judges also urged that changes in regulation and accounting standards should not result in longer reports and were happy to see that there had been a reduction in the average number of pages in annual reports among entrants.

“It is extremely encouraging to see the calibre of reporting right across the board among this year’s winners,” said Crotty. “Our entrants this year faced a number of challenges brought on by the onset of Covid-19. Nonetheless this did not impact on the quality of the annual reports produced and this just showcases the resilience of our members and their organisations and teams. Well done to all those shortlisted and awarded today.”

The annual report continues to be one of the most powerful communication tools a company has when engaging with stakeholders, particularly in this new digital world, said head of equity listing Ireland at Euronext, Orla O’Gorman.

“It enables them to showcase their business in both financial and non-financial terms, in order to speak to the diverse range of interests of their stakeholders. Euronext is a strong advocate of excellence in stakeholder reporting and congratulates all those shortlisted and receiving awards at this event.”

“It has been an honour to be chair of the Published Accounts Awards this year and the quality of the annual reports from this year’s entrants have been exceptional,” said the chairman of the Published Accounts Awards 2020 subcommittee, Paul Byrne. “I would like to thank the judges and the reviewers for their time and effort as these awards could not happen without their support. I would also like to thank the rest of the PAA subcommittee of Pat Jennings, Siobhan Ivory and Susan Waldron for their contributions throughout the process.”

“The Leinster Society extends its congratulations to the 2020 winners and also to all entrants for the high-quality annual reporting that has been displayed throughout these awards.”

The Winners

Overall Winner DCC

Highly Commended NI Water

Large not-for-profit Concern

Small/Medium not-for-profit Barretstown

Company listed on a foreign market DCC

Statutory Unquoted Large Entity (IFRS) ESB

Statutory Unquoted Large Entity (Non-IFRS) DAA

Euronext Growth Award Total Produce

Small/Medium Quoted Company Kenmare Resources

Large Quoted Company CRH plc

CSR and Sustainability Award (Listed) Kenmare Resources

CSR and Sustainability Award (Unlisted) NI Water

Diversity & Inclusion Award An Post

Highly Commended Diversity & Inclusion Award Barnardos

Best Digital Reporting Award Origin Enterprises

Best Branding Communication & Marketing Award Barnardos

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