International Network and ABN members are active in promoting and developing accounting for sustainability. Below is a selection of recent activities and events, please contact us for any suggested additions.
Click here for the A4S community calendar of events.
Beyond Austerity – CIPFA Annual Conference, 9th – 11th July 2013, London
Carbon Accounting – Challenges and Opportunities, 5th June 2013, Edinburgh
A 2012 survey regarding the awareness, knowledge and application of carbon accounting and reporting by accountants working in Scotland was conducted by ECCI in partnership with the Accountancy Bodies, SEPA and Sustainable Opportunity Solutions.
A significant response from members of ACCA, CIMA, ICAS, and ICAEW Scotland contributed to the survey and this event will share the survey findings, highlight key issues and facilitate further discussion regarding this emerging field for the accountancy profession.
This Event will appeal to accountants interested in:
- Developing a new service for clients
- Enhancing technical skills and competencies
- Understanding how to identify hidden efficiencies for clients
- Strengthening reputation
- Understanding the opportunities
A4S Annual Forum: On 13th December over 200 international representatives from business, investors, the accounting community, government, academia and civil society gathered at St James’s Palace State Apartments to hear His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales speak about ‘the role of the finance and accounting community in future-proofing our economy’. Prior to the main Forum the Accounting Bodies Network held their annual meeting to discuss its 2013 workplan and the A4S principles, and presented its plans to HRH The Prince of Wales.
Click here for the A4S Accounting Bodies Network (ABN) Annual Review which was launched at the ABN’s annual meeting.
Accounting for the future: ACCA online conference, 8th – 12th October 2012, included a session with A4S Director, Sarah Nolleth
A4S Middle East: Pearl Initiative Roundtable Luncheon on Corporate Accountability in the Arab World, 24th September 2012, United Nations Headquarters, New York
The Non-financial reporting conference, ACCA and the GRI, 20th September, London
Publication: Acting under pressure – how management accountants manage ethical issues, CIMA, August 2012
The CIPFA / Public Finance Conference 2012 - Survival of the Fittest? 3rd – 5th July 2012, Liverpool
Publication: Sustainable business: Shared value in practice, CGMA (AICPA and CIMA), April 2012
Publication: Rebooting business: Valuing the human dimension, CGMA (AICPA and CIMA), January 2012
Publication: Thirsty planet: Business responses to water scarcity, CGMA (AICPA and CIMA), January 2012
Publication: The A4S Accounting Bodies Network annual review 2011, December 2011
Publication: Business briefing series: 20 issues on building a sustainable business, ICAA and KPMG, November 2011
Publication: The influence and impact of sustainability issues on capital investment decisions, CPA Australia, November 2011
Publication: Sustainability performance management: how CFOs can unlock value, CIMA and Accenture, October 2011
CIMA World Conference 2011 – Business in tomorrow’s world – a sustainable future, 24th – 25th October 2011, Cape Town, South Africa
18th CAPA (Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants) Conference 2011, APAC Powerhouse: opportunities for the accounting profession, 7th – 9th September 2011, Brisbane – Queensland, Australia
Publication: Apocalypse H20: accounting for the true value of water, CIMA, July 2011
ACCA Research and Insights Conference, virtual conference, 27 July 2011, invluded a special address by HRH Prince of Wales on his involvement in the Accounting for Sustainability Project.
CIPFA Annual Conference 2011: the new public services landscape, 5th – 7th July 2011, Birmingham ICC
Publication: The Social Responsibility of Corporations, CPA Australia, June 2011
Publication: Building world class businesses for the long term, CIMA, June 2011
Publication: Sustainability: Environmental and Social Issues Briefing, CICA, June 2011
Publication: ICAA: Integrating Sustainability into Business Practices: A Case Study Approach, May 2011
Finance Director Excellence Awards 2011 – ICAEW, 10 May 2011, London
Publication: Accountancy Futures Critical Issues for Tomorrow’s Profession, ACCA, March 2011
Including Sir Michael Peat, Former Chair of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC), and Paul Druckman, CEO of the IIRC.
CIPFA: Public Financial Management Conference – Trust and accountability in public financial management, 15th – 17th March 2011, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London
Publication: Tomorrow’s balance sheet – discussion paper from CIMA and Tomorrow’s company, February 2011
The Fourth CIPFA/ICAEW Public Sector Conference 2011,28 February 2011, Chartered Accountants’ Hall, Moorgate Place, London
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) CA magazine online, January 2011, featuring the A4S video ‘Business Leader or Eco Warrior’
CSR: A Global Overview published by Business in the Community (BITC) and CSR360 Global Partner Network
CSR: A Global Overview is an informative guide to CSR around the world and a learning tool for all practitioners working on CSR globally. Business in the Community has launched the guide in collaboration with 23 Global Partner Network organisations.
Evolution of corporate sustainability practices: Perspectives from the UK, US and Canada – AICPA, CICA and CIMA research study
To gain a sense of the state of sustainability in the UK and North America, CIMA, the AICPA and CICA recently surveyed over 2000 organisational leaders from their respective memberships, and interviewed sustainability executives from leading organisations to examine key characteristics of business sustainability, and the level of finance function involvement in corporate sustainability initiatives.
Watch a video featuring Carol Scott, AICPA Vice President – Business, Industry & Government, highlighting results of the AICPA/CICA/CIMA survey.
Paul Druckman, interviewed by Sustainable Future
November 2010 – At the Harvard Business School conference on Integrated Reporting, Paul Druckman, then co-Chairman of the IIRC working group was interviewed for the Sustainable Future YouTube channel
BRASS and ACCA Cymru/Wales launch SME guide to embedding sustainability
The ABC of CSR for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises has been developed by BRASS (the Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society) at Cardiff University and ACCA Cymru/Wales (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). The guide has been tailored specifically for SMEs in Wales who want to understand more about corporate social responsibility and embed it into their business practice.
CIMA Sustainability in emerging markets: lessons from South Africa
Sustainability can no longer be considered apart from an organisation’s core strategy. Addressing the triple bottom line – the economic, social and environmental outcomes – within business has key implications for long-term success. This background report traces both the emergence of corporate responsibility issues and their impact in emerging markets.
Embedding Sustainability roundtable – hosted by ICAEW and National Business Awards
ICAEW sponsored the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Award of the National Business Awards, and hosted a roundtable debate for finalists and leading champions of corporate responsibility and sustainability in the public and private sector, to share insights and debate the theme of ‘Embedding Sustainability – What have we learned?’ chaired by Michael Izza, Chief Executive of ICAEW.
CPA Australia publish three research projects commissioned by the University of Sydney
Corporate non-financial reporting processes – An analysis of the emerging modes by which organisations engage with their stakeholders
Corporate water reporting – A study of the Australian food, beverage and tobacco sector
Sustainability reporting assurance – market trends and information content
Delivering the climate change agenda – is the NHS ready? – ACCA report
September 2010 – ACCA’s new report Delivering the climate change agenda – is the NHS ready? examines how well equipped the NHS is to deliver its climate change agenda and sets out some recommendations to aide this process.
AICPA Launches New Career Website and Competition for Future CPAs
September 2010 – The AICPA has launched This Way to CPA which is devoted exclusively to the needs of college students interested in becoming CPAs and graduates preparing for the CPA examination. AICPA have also announced a new initiative for college students-the 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition. This year’s competition teams accounting students with students in other academic fields in an effort to solve a real-world accounting for sustainability project for an existing business. The 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition, which officially began on September 13, was created through a partnership between the AICPA and the Institute of Sustainable Development (ISD). Learn more about This Way to CPA and the 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition.
ACCA: Accountancy Futures journal, edition 02 2010
ACCA’s twice yearly journal exploring the future challenges facing accountants and business.
CIPFA Annual Conference 2010: the turning point
8th – 10th June 2010, Harrogate International Centre
SAICA launch sustainability website
May 2010 – The SAICA sustainability website aims to offer an information hub for chartered accountants (SA), corporate sustainability managers and the general business community. It highlights the current major sustainability issues and gives the history of sustainability reporting along with the available standards and guidelines. The brand new integrated reporting section aims to offer an information resource on this growing, but still young, area of reporting.
GRI conference, Rethink, Rebuild, Report
May 2010 – At the GRI conference, the Integrated Reporting Main Hall Session ‘Closing the gap’ was filmed for the GRI YouTube channel, including comments from Professor Mervyn King (Deputy Chairman, IIRC), and Paul Druckman and Ian Ball (co-Chairmen of the IIRC working group). The session Integrated Reporting: Learn from Real Examples includes Jessica Fries (A4S Project Director and member of IIRC working group) and Professor Bob Eccles (Harvard Business School and member of the IIRC)
CPA Australia have provided professional associations input into Sustainability in Key Professions
March 2010 – The Commonwealth Government (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts) project “Sustainability in Key Professions“, amongst a range of matters, addresses the identification of the drivers and barriers to the development of sustainability oriented accounting skills and how this might be addressed as between the university sector and the professional associations.
Government Financial Reporting Manual – HM Treasury consultation
March 2010 – The Financial Reporting Manual is the technical accounting guide that complements guidance on the handling of public funds published separately by the relevant authorities. The Manual is prepared following consultation with the Financial Reporting Advisory Board and is issued by the relevant authorities in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Incorporating ethics into strategy – The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
In February 2010 the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) released its discussion paper on Incorporating ethics into strategy: developing sustainable business models which looks at how management accountants can shape ethical business agendas and incorporate ethics into strategy.
Making Corporate Reports Readable – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
ICAS’ publication demonstrates that it is possible to produce a corporate report in less than 30 pages which tells management’s story of what is important – eliminating the boilerplate narrative and providing decision-useful information.
CIPFA Sustainability reporting: A public services perspective
Increasingly organisations are expected to show that they recognise the challenges that face them, and set out their strategies for dealing with these issues. This publication describes a public sector sustainability reporting approach, and provides the reader with practical information.
Valuing sustainability reporting: perspectives from the international investment community – CPA Australia
In November 2009 CPA Australia released the latest of their Corporate Reporting Pulse publications. The two most recent CPA Australia Corporate Reporting Pulse research reports have focused specifically on the emergence of non-financial reporting as a significant form of corporate disclosure. The latest research therefore, allows us to track the views of the broader investment community on various aspects of this type of disclosure, also known as sustainability reporting.
This survey, conducted in Hong Kong, Australia and the United Kingdom, gauges views on the emerging global frameworks for non-financial reporting, and on the readiness of the markets to adapt to the requirements embedded in these frameworks. The 2009 research, conducted in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis shows a significant increase in economic confidence. Not surprisingly, the 2008 research, conducted at the height of the crisis, returned much lower levels of confidence. Nevertheless, these global economic events have emphasised how we must think long and hard about how business is transacted, and of the role of the corporation in broader society.
Environmental Accounting CSR Survey – The Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants
CAPA surveyed its member bodies activities on environmental accounting/CSR issues in order to share such information with all member bodies. The findings were published in a survey report released on 31 October 2009 at a forum in Beijing, China.
Climate Change: the role of the Finance Professional – The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants survey results
In October 2009 the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) surveyed 900 international finance and sustainability professionals about climate change and their organisation’s agenda.
CIMA has long emphasised the key role finance professionals have to play in ensuring organisations consider climate change in a strategic context and integrating sustainability issues into their long-term decision making processes, a view supported by A4S. An encouraging 80% of respondents agree that the finance function should be engaged in climate change initiatives, although only a third are currently involved in this area on a formal basis. CIMA survey results
Business Reporting in Practice – The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
In September 2009 the ICAA released the Broad Based Business Reporting Supplementary Paper which sits alongside their Complete Reporting Tool
“Fighting climate change” – Article in Public Finance magazine – By John Maddocks of The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy – 10 September 2009
Management’s Discussion & Analysis: Guidance on Preparation and Disclosure, The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
In July 2009 the Canadian Performance Reporting Board (CPRB) , under authorisation from CICA, published Management’s Discussion & Analysis: Guidance on Preparation and Disclosure (407 KB, PDF). Originally published in November 2002 and revised in 2004, the guidance responded to concerns that many MD&A disclosures lacked usefulness and clarity. These 2009 revisions reflect changes in legislation, securities regulation, the economic environment, and best practice in MD&A reporting.
Climate Change Briefing – Questions for Directors to Ask – The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
In July 2009 the Risk Management and Governance Board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) commissioned a publication to provide a series of questions corporate directors can ask relating to the business implications of climate change. The publication titled “Climate Change Briefing – Questions for Directors to Ask” is intended increase awareness among corporate board members about the business impacts and governance issues associated with climate change. The publication was co-authored by Julie Desjardins and Alan Willis, experienced CAs who have contributed valuable guidance relating to climate change for many years.
IFAC Sustainability Framework
The International Federation of Accountants have published a Sustainability Framework. According to the IFAC website, this is a web-based tool aimed at “…professional accountants working in commerce, industry, the public sector, education, and the not-for-profit sector who the International Federation of Accountants strongly believes can influence the way organisations integrate sustainability into their objectives, strategies, management, and definitions of success.”
“In clearly defining the different facets of sustainability, the IFAC Sustainability Framework can help professional accountants grasp all the important aspects of sustainability that they may encounter, directly or indirectly, and that will be important to their organisations.”
Click here to go to the IFAC website to view the Framework in more detail.
ICAEW Business Sustainability Programme (BSP)
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)’s BSP e-learning programme is designed for accountants and business professionals who want to learn about the business case for sustainability.
The course is spread over five modules taking users from definitions of sustainability and corporate responsibility, through case studies and finally towards developing an individually tailored sustainability strategy for their business.
The first two modules are free to everyone. Access to the whole programme is £23.50 for members and £47.00 for non-members. For more information and to download a brochure visit www.icaew.com/bsp
Sustainability Reporting in the Third Sector
The Charities Finance Directors Group (CFDG) are creating some specific guidance for charity finance directors on a) how to tackle sustainability in charities, and b) how and where to report action on sustainability. The guidance is due to be published in the first half of 2009.