Accountancy Europe has published its report 10 ideas to make corporate governance a driver of a sustainable economy. The report says corporate governance is instrumental to change how businesses are run and can be a main driver of a sustainable economy, adding that boards and policymakers/regulators are key players in this transformation.

With regard to the role of the accounting profession, the report says accountants play a key role at all stages of corporate governance. ‘Good business decisions start with reliable information. As businesses change their benchmarks for success, accountants contribute by: measuring impacts, disclosing information, and certifying what is reported’

Accountants, the report goes on to say, ‘make critical contributions to all stages of corporate governance’.

The report notes: “In business, accountants are found in various roles that are all key to effective corporate governance: CEOs, Chief Financial Officers, non=executive directors, audit committee members, as well as officers in accounting, reporting, internal control or tax functions.

“In an advisory capacity, accountants help business to e.g. obtain adequate financing, make strategic investment decisions, enhance business information systems, adapt to their competitive challenges and regulatory environment.

“As external auditors… they can offer an independent expert opinion e.g. on the process used to collect and analyse the data, on the reliability and exhaustivity of the data or on the way it is being interpreted, used and reported. With this information at hand, investors and other stakeholders can gain confidence that businesses make the right decisions to become sustainable.”

The report also highlights the accountancy profession’s growing expertise in the field of non-financial information, saying that accountants have ‘long-standing experience on how to help companies make the right changes to reduce their environmental footprint – and costs’.

In its conclusion the report says: “The accountancy profession provides its contribution to the policy debate but more importantly on the ground helping business adapt and transform to a sustainable model.”