• 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

    Time pressure: Facing up to mental health

    In an ‘always on’ culture, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage a healthy work-life balance. While companies are beginning to address this problem by introducing different support systems, Joe Pickard finds more could be done to ensure the wellbeing of the professions workforce.

    read more

    Venezuela: the race for the dollar

    With a new currency following hyperinflation, large sections of the population emigrating to neighbouring countries, an economy on the brink of collapse and no apparent solution coming from the government, Jonathan Minter finds a profession struggling to stay afloat in Venezuela.

    read more

    Brazil: transparency and control

    Brazilian accountants have an optimistic view of the impact of more-regular reporting and the implications of audit controversies for the profession. Paul Golden reports.

    read more

    Argentina: looking for a clearer view

    The Argentine accounting profession continues to grapple with the impacts of a weak economy and a culture of financial corruption. Paul Golden takes a closer look.

    read more

    Blockchain: adapting to disruptive tech

    In the relatively few years since digital currencies first began using blockchain technology, the array of potential applications has grown significantly – and continues to expand. Dan Balla, Matthew Schell and Dave Uhryniak from Crowe look at how it impacts accountancy.

    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.