The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project headed by the Prince of Wales on Tuesday entered into a memorandum of understanding to support the global accountancy profession’s role in developing sustainable organizations.
“Professional accountants play a vital role in helping to create sustainable organizations and markets, especially in the areas of accountability and measurement of results,” Robert Bunting, president of IFAC, said in a press release. “I am delighted that our two organizations are working together to advance the role of sustainability leadership and reporting at a global level, fostering collaboration with key stakeholders and developing best practices for integrating sustainability issues in the way we do business.”
IFAC and A4S said they believe that an essential part of maintaining economic performance and contributing to society lies in embedding sustainability into strategy, governance, performance management and reporting processes.
“This linking of IFAC and A4S represents an important step in strengthening the broad international network of accountants working to develop best practices and universally accepted standards for sustainability, says AICPA Technical Manager Ken Witt. “Collaboration with IFAC and A4S to provide thought leadership is a critical component of the AICPA sustainability initiative.”
The two organizations said key priorities to support the work of professional accountants in embedding sustainable practices include:
- Raising awareness and facilitating sharing and collaboration across the global accountancy community, for example, through the development of a community website for professional accountancy organizations, business leaders, academics, and other experts to exchange ideas and share good sustainability practice;
- Establishing an international integrated reporting committee to develop a new reporting model that will better reflect the interconnected impact of financial, environmental, social, and governance factors on the long-term performance and condition of an organization; and
- Incorporating accounting for sustainability within professional training and education.
“Effective action by the accounting and finance community to better account for sustainability is an essential part of the response,” said Paul Druckman, chairman of the A4S executive board. “The collaboration between IFAC and A4S will help to make this a reality.”