Recommended Reading

The resources below are regularly updated and aim to help SMPs in sustainability issues:

IAASB Addresses Sustainability Assurance: In this article IAASB Chair Tom Seidenstein explains how the IAASB is taking the next steps for new standards for sustainability assurance. (9 June 2022)

Research on Sustainability Assurance: This research paper examines assurance of sustainability information by Dutch listed companies and reveals much variation in the content of the assurance engagement, to whom the assurance report is addressed, and the criteria used to perform the assurance engagement. (2 June 2022)

ESG Exchange : Professor Mervyn King has established, within the Good Governance Academy, the ESG Exchange.  The ESG Exchange is a global community collaborating to help firms publish sustainability reports. (16 June 2022)

IFRS Sustainability Standards: Are You Ready?: Listen to this ACCA webcast about how to prepare for IFRS sustainability standards. (31 May 2022)

Financial Accounting as a Catalyst for the Circular Economy: this IFAC Gateway article (3 March 2022) summarizes a report, authored by the Royal Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBA) amongst others, called Financial accounting in the circular economy: Redefining value, impact and risk to accelerate the circular transition, on how accounting and financing are catalysts for circular businesses to thrive and crucial to driving sustainable development. Scaling circular business models is the route to accelerating the circular transition, unlocking the profitability of businesses in a rapidly changing world and reaching key climate goals, such as net-zero. This report provides guidance to overcome the challenges and capture the value of circular business.

Integrated Thinking Principles: this article introduces the Integrated Thinking Principles (15 March 2022)

Future of Framework: in June 2022, the Value Reporting Foundation – home to the Integrated Thinking Principles, Integrated Reporting Framework and the SASB Standards – will consolidate under the IFRS Foundation, which is establishing the new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). This information sheet explains what this means for the Framework and the businesses that use it.

In this Reuters article, Huw Jones looks at the intersection of sustainability and audit/assurance – and includes the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) next steps in the space, and how often the ISAE 3000 standard is issued for sustainability reporting. (22 February 2022)

IFAC has launched a new podcast series, The Fast Future with IFAC, that highlights innovative SMPs around the world. The first episode, with Australian accountant and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand member Amela Kmetas, is available here (17 February 2022).

Audit tips for a pandemic-changed environment explains what firms should focus on (AICPA, 8 December 2021).

As part of its Accounting for the Future virtual conference 2021 (AFF2021) ACCA included a webinar on Golden opportunity of SMP sustainability services. This webcast is now on-demand here.  

How PAIBs Create Value: IFAC’s Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Advisory Group has compiled insights on how accountants are contributing to value creation and sustainability in their organizations in both the private and public sectors in a new report, The Role of Accountants in Mainstreaming Sustainability

How SMEs can Create a More Sustainable World: ACCA and CA ANZ’s joint playbook, How SMEs can create a more sustainable world, details the benefits that sustainable actions have for both business success and the environment. The playbook sets out practical steps for embedding sustainable practices within SMEs, case studies from across the world, and links to a variety of tools and resources. See press release here. ACCA held an online event on “How SMEs can Create a More Sustainable World: A Live Panel Discussion” on 2 December – see here.

SMEunited Seek Support on Due Diligence: On 23 November 2021, at the webinar organised by ecoDa (the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations) and Mazars on “Sustainability – Action needed on the defining issue for SMEs across Europe” SMEunited Director Luc Hendrickx called for concrete and practical assistance on due diligence for SMEs. Read more here.

Auditing ESG Information: in this article learn how current auditing standards require environmental, social and governance (ESG) related risks to be considered, and auditors need to know how to audit this information.