• Register
Return to: Home > News > Standards > WCOA: Accountants have a key role to play

WCOA: Accountants have a key role to play

KUALA LUMPUR: One of the core issues facing accountants today is the advisory role they can play in helping companies report on the impact of their operations on society – in other words, integrated reporting.

Global Reporting Initiative chairman Prof Mervyn King is widely accepted as one of the champions of good corporate governance and sustainability. He wants accountants to take a lead role in the movement towards meaningful integrated reporting.

“What I expect to get out of [the WCOA] is an appreciation by the world’s leading accountants, some 6,000 of them, that they had a huge role to play in being advisors to companies to moving to integrated reporting. It’s a question of what impact operations of a company have on society and environment and financially,” King told Congress Daily.

“One can no longer just look at a company’s long term strategy but also sustainability issues which are pertinent to the business of the company. An example is SAB Miller, the second biggest brewery in the world. As part of their long term strategic planning one of their new breweries will be a large ship at sea in which they will take on ocean water and desalinate it. It’s quite extraordinary thinking simply because of the fresh water crisis as water is a critical factor in making beer.

“This is where long term goal and it shows the institutional investor that here is a board committed to the long-term plans of its company. If you think you can carry on business as usual, I’m afraid you’re not planning properly.”

CPA Australia is the first financial organisation to produce a sustainability report. Chief executive Alex Malley wants to see accountants stepping up to the plate to become key resource advisers that can influence change and good starting point would be to tackle complexity within annual reports.

“If you look at an annual report over a period of the last 20 years and you were to have locked it in a time capsule, it’s a wonderful example of where society is in this point of time,” Malley said.

“Gone is the cigar swilling chairman that sits at the front of the cover with all the power and control in the world. Now is a complex annual report that tries to factor in sustainability, non-financials and so on. We’re at that stage where we are over complicated and we need to sit back, re-think, re-adjust and simplify and respect our resources more. It’s about the leadership of that.”

King will take part in Plenary Session 3: Accounting for Sustainability: The Integrated Reporting Framework at 9am on Thursday. Malley will take part in Plenary Session 4: Accountants in the Next Decade – Embracing Change and Seizing Opportunities at 11am on Thursday.

 

Top Content

    Brazil: regulation and technology form basis for recovery

    Opportunities in the capital markets and the ever-growing influence of technology are expected to have a significant impact on the Brazilian accounting profession over the next 12 months, writes Paul Golden.

    read more

    Mentoring support and the opportunity to delegate

    Jon Lisby will be known to many from his former role as CEO of Kreston International. Here, he explains the background to his new venture, Global Alliance Advisory Services (GAAS), and how he aims to offer support to alliance CEOs.

    read more

    Global by name, global by nature

    Stephen Heathcote became chief executive officer of PrimeGlobal on 1 June 2019. Robin Amlôt met him to discuss the various new challenges that he has taken on, and his ambitions for the association.

    read more

    ARGA team, assemble!

    The new top team has been named that will see in root-and-branch reform at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as it transforms into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Will the new duo be as dynamic as some are hoping? Robin Amlôt reports.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.