Reiteration on Reportorial Requirements of Cooperatives

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Globally, every institution recognize the significance of reports in its existence as a juridical entity. It is not intended solely for its members, officers and staff but also for the regulatory body that granted its juridical personality; other stakeholders and the community it serves. In most cases it is done annually with some exceptions like in the case of the Philippines wherein the Bureau of Internal Revenue

Cooperatives are required to submit reports to the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) within 120 days from the close of every calendar year. In this case, April 30 is the deadline for submission of cooperative reports. I would like to reiterate that the latest CDA issuance requires the submission of duly accomplished print out of Cooperative Annual Progress Report (CAPR) that must be encoded online with the following attachments: a) Audited Financial Statement (AFS), b) Report on List of Officers and Trainings Attended (LOTA) c) Social Audit Report d) Governance and Management Report (GMAR) including Report on Mediation and Conciliation. All reports must be duly signed by Accountable Officers, otherwise it will not be considered as official documents.

Moreover, the Audited Financial Statement must be encoded online under the Cooperative Audited Financial Statement Information System (CAFSIS) through the Cooperative Annual Progress Report Information System (CAPRIS). A cooperative must encode first the CAPR and generate the print out that contains the Filing Reference Number found in the CAPR Summary that serves as password in filling up the CAFSIS.

I would like also to emphasize that the Audit Committee/Internal Auditor/Compliance Officer and Management staff have crucial roles in the accomplishment of these reports. The need for dynamic and responsible members of the Audit Committee that can work harmoniously with other officers and staff can lead to preparation of quality reports.

Also, cooperatives need to submit the mediation and conciliation report every semester with the deadline on or before July 15 for the first semester and on or before January for the second semester.

It is an observation that some cooperatives view the compliance to reportorial requirements as “organizational burden” with some remarks from cooperative officers and staff on the difficulty in accomplishing such reports. As a development worker I consider the feedbacks on two perspectives. Firstly, it could be that the cooperative staff tasked to perform compliance to reportorial requirements lacks the understanding on the significance of reports. Secondly, it could be attributed to behavioral factors directly or indirectly related to perspective or viewpoint towards the regulator. Some people have the assumption to know better than the regulator but sometimes fail to understand the spirit of the law.  This situation when not put in the right perspective can create animosities that is not healthy and can severe relationship. While there are several factors that affects the performance of cooperatives related to compliance, understanding governance and management can help officers and staff appreciate the significance of the required reports.

It is then important that cooperatives must understand that they exist because juridical personality was granted to them by a regulatory agency. Similarly, regulatory agency must fully understand the various cultures and personality of the people within an organization. The key to level-off differences is through an open line of communication that can enhance better partnerships toward growth and development.

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