Reporting Exchange Newsletter March

This month, we bring major developments driving international sustainability standards, assurance and more.

Time to Transform – Leading multinational companies set urgent action agenda for all people to live well, within planetary boundaries.

WBCSD´s new report lays out a framework to guide business action in line with the urgency of the challenges that we face as a global society, and provides the business community with comprehensive guidance on how it can lead the transformations needed if we are to realize a shared vision of a world in which more than nine billion people can live well, within planetary boundaries, by 2050. The insights also include the needed shift in finance, ESG and disclosure. Read more here.

Major developments in global efforts to move towards an international sustainability standard

The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS) has announced its plans to move forward with the creation of a Sustainability Standards Board and a working group to accelerate convergence – and the International Organization of Securities Commissions  (IOSCO) has signaled its support for the effort – meaning possible endorsement of the outcoming standard. The European Commission (EC) is also making progress. On 8 March, the EC welcomed the EFRAG’s latest reports on the future of EU reporting standards, with a view to adopting a delegated act in June. At the same time, the US has stepped up its efforts with the Chair´s speech on meeting investor demand on climate and ESG, announcing the SEC’s Enforcement Task Force on Climate and ESG disclosures to identify material gaps in issuers’ disclosures of these issues and launching a public consultation on climate change disclosures. All of this demonstrates the growing importance of non-financial reporting across the mainstream.

Why the finance function is essential to delivering long-term value 

Listen to the executive panel from leading accounting and business executives highlighting perspectives on value creation and stakeholder capitalism in building forward better and the role of finance and professional accountants helping lead this charge featuring Kevin Dancey, CEO of IFAC, Rodney Irwin, Managing Director at WBCSD, Andrew Harding, Chief Executive of Management Accounting at AICPA CIMA, Geraldine Matchett, Co-CEO of DSM moderated by Edelman’s US head of ESG Heidi DuBois.

Advancing assurance

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) approved Non-Authoritative Guidance on Applying ISAE 3000 (Revised) to Extended External Reporting (EER) Assurance Engagements that encapsulates many different forms of reporting e.g. sustainability or ESG, integrated, CSR, greenhouse gas statements, and others. The guidance will be published beginning of April. In addition, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) launched a new joint initiative to accelerate integrated reporting assurance. The first release sets out what integrated reporting assurance involves and addresses the difference between limited and reasonable assurance.

UN´s Financing for Sustainable Development Report 2021

In the 2021 UN flagship report on financing for development, more than 60 UN agencies and international institutions call for using the momentum on corporate sustainability reporting to realize ambitious changes. The report recommends that standard setters must consolidate their work into a single, coherent global set of reporting standards and that policymakers could also make it mandatory for large companies to report on a core set of general (sector-agnostic) metrics. Those core metrics could be complemented by industry-specific impact metrics to provide a complete picture of a company’s sustainable development impact. 

A4S Academy 18-month core program for senior finance professionals

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) are providing free support to you, and your organization, in understanding the role of finance in creating resilient business models and a sustainable economy. Apply before 14 May for the A4S Academy 18-month core program for senior finance professionals to gain the knowledge and skills needed to embed sustainability into your organization’s decision-making process. Check out also their role finance professionals A4s webinar program.

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