December 8, 2022


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Affiliation sets out 2021 sustainability highway map for accountants

Sustainability reporting has been expanding in importance all over the planet as stakeholders increasingly demand better perception into companies’ administration of their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) threats and prospects, and organisations see the added benefits of managing ESG issues. That development has highly developed how the accounting career supports reporting and assurance providers close to ESG information and facts. To aid community accountants and finance professionals navigate ESG-similar schooling and assets, the Affiliation of Global Accredited Experienced Accountants, the unified voice of AICPA and CIMA, shared a 2021 road map.

The Association’s attempts mirror CPAs’ and Chartered World-wide Management Accountants’ many years of get the job done in encouraging organisations report on and communicate their motivation to the priorities, values, and fears of a diversified marketplace.

“This 12 months we have observed the COVID-19 pandemic and large environmental and social dangers tremendously impression our communities. These variables, coupled with stakeholder need, are driving a lot more organisations to report reliable and accurate ESG details that extends beyond economic information and facts,” said Sue Coffey, CPA, CGMA, the Association’s executive vice-president–Public Apply. “For decades, the Affiliation has been ahead of the curve, enjoying a crucial role in supporting CPAs and CGMAs to foresee, report on, and mitigate ESG challenges, as effectively as in offering assistance for assurance products and services. We have a prolonged-standing determination to delivering appropriate nonfinancial info, and our perform with framework- and regular-setters displays this.”

Coffey extra: “CPAs and CGMAs are uniquely experienced to assistance organisations improve stakeholder rely on and assurance, make improvements to conclusion-creating, and decrease price tag of money. The Association is fully commited to providing instructional means for pros doing the job on behalf of organizations and robust authoritative steering for people who perform an independent job offering auditing and assurance products and services.”

For illustration, in 2020 the Affiliation:

  • Collaborated with the Sustainability Accounting Requirements Board (SASB) and the Globe Business Council for Sustainable Growth (WBCSD) on a virtual function speaking about the effects of COVID-19 on investor demand from customers for ESG reporting and the relevance of reliable ESG disclosures.
  • Partnered with the International Reporting Initiative (GRI) to create assurance FAQs that aid organisations that report in accordance with GRI Expectations and need far more information about assurance engagements carried out by CPAs in the US.
  • Released a series of educational briefs checking out sustainability, small business, and the job of finance experts.

These assets, coupled with existing AICPA attestation criteria and steering, as very well as the Association’s support for the creation of a new sustainability specifications board below the IFRS Foundation, give a reliable foundation for the Association’s 2021 ESG street map.

Looking ahead to 2021, the Association options to supply several assets to CPAs and CGMA designation holders who offer sustainability reporting and assurance companies. The Association’s programs consist of:

  • Publishing practical exploration instruments from the CGMA Sustainability and Business Study Programme. These will replicate the Association’s appreciation that the relationship among business and sustainability is getting reset, which substantially impacts the mechanics and mindsets of accounting, finance, and organization globally.
  • Creating a highway map for US audit practitioners, in partnership with the Centre for Audit Quality, to support them fully grasp the threat and legal factors involved with doing attestation engagements on ESG info disclosed in US Securities and Trade Commission filings.
  • Offering academic events in partnership with SASB and other organisations.
  • Developing academic briefs on the purpose of finance and management accounting and summary briefs on sustainability standards and frameworks and essential local weather improve concerns.
  • Updating the AICPA Sustainability Attestation Manual to mirror predicted changes to the AICPA Auditing Requirements Board’s Attestation Criteria. The Guidebook was issued in 2017 and current in 2018.

“Organisations close to the globe are resetting the way they assume about sustainability, and this has substantial impact on stakeholders’ belief in their nonfinancial knowledge, possibility administration strategies, and business restoration,” mentioned Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, the Association’s chief executive–Management Accounting. “As main members of almost each and every business enterprise, governing administration, and nongovernmental organisation, CGMAs perform a pivotal job in providing nonfinancial and fiscal administration facts to generate organization functionality, establish procedures, and affect determination-building. They provide a special set of capabilities and knowledge to the table and can do the job with stakeholders to combine accountable practices into their enterprise and operating types.”

Harding added: “We believe that that we will see profound changes in the up coming handful of a long time in the do the job of administration accounting and general public accounting to embed new methods and criteria relating to sustainability. The Affiliation will proceed to offer education and guidance to all spots of the occupation, making certain that it is ahead of this transformation.”

For more information on the Association’s sustainability sources, take a look at:

Ellen Goldstein ([email protected]) is the Association’s director–Communications & Exclusive Tasks.