AICPA and CIMA offer climate accounting educational resources

The International Association of Certified Professional Accountants released a new climate sustainability education report on Monday, the fourth in a series of online documents aimed at educating accountants about sustainability.

Accounting for climate resilience Aims to help finance professionals guide their organizations through initiatives such as scenario analysis and adaptation planning so they can build greater resilience. This comes amid alarming signs of climate change as record temperatures have been recorded in the US, Europe and other parts of the world in recent days.

The Association of Certified Professional Accountants International is the umbrella organization for the American Institute of CPAs and the London-based Chartered Institute of Professional Accountants, together known as AICPA & CIMA.

“Finance professionals are at the heart of business and are therefore well placed to help build stable business models and implement organizational sustainability strategies in a changing world,” Martin Farrar, associate technical director of AICPA & CIMA, said in a statement. “They have connections in business and can join the dots with stakeholders outside of business to start conversations about what resilience looks like in the face of risks from a climate emergency.”

This and other educational briefings seek to help organizations and their accountants consider sustainability issues, integrate them into long-term decision-making, and incorporate them into internal and external reporting.

Previous reports have included Accounting for Sustainable Development Goals, Carbon accounting and Accounting for nature.

Accountants are increasingly involved in providing sustainability reporting services, which is in line with the trend towards more environmental, social and governance reporting as more companies provide ESG reports to shareholders.

The AICPA and CIMA encourage accountants to provide such services. “With their skills and knowledge, financiers can provide insights into organizational governance, strategy, risk management and performance to support sustainable decision-making based on sound business analysis and warrant both financial and non-financial information, including sustainability-related data,” said Jeremy Osborne, Global Head of ESG at AICPA & CIMA. plans.”

Last month, the audit quality center renewed Analysis of the number of S&P 500 companies providing ESG assurance and found that the number of S&P 500 companies reporting ESG information increased from 93% to 99%. Since 2020, there has been a 13% increase in the number of companies seeking assurance on certain ESG indicators, from 52% to 65%. Of the companies that have verified their ESG information, 18% have engaged a public company auditor. Most companies that used a public company auditor to provide assurance on their ESG information used the same firm that audited their financial statements. In 2021, the scope of information subject to assurance increased, especially when public company audit firms provided assurance.

There has been a backlash against ESG investment funds in some conservative states like Florida and Texas, and Republicans in Congress have held hearings in recent months to discourage ESG investment funds and sustainability reporting. Still, such reporting is likely to remain a requirement, especially as the Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to finalize a rule it proposed last year on climate-related disclosures this fall. Many other countries have already made progress with the European Union’s Corporate Reporting Sustainability Directive and the International Sustainability Standards Board. finish its sustainability and climate disclosure standards late last month.

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