Topics: accountants, accounting, Industry, sustainability

Accountants Can Change the World by Driving Sustainability. Would You?

4 MIN READ | Posted on May 04, 2023
Written By Pooja Kshirsagar

Accountants Can Change the World by Driving Sustainability

As we enter a new era of environmental consciousness, sustainability is becoming an increasingly crucial issue. From climate change to resource depletion, businesses and individuals alike are facing unprecedented challenges that require urgent action.

As an accountant, you may not see yourself as a world changer, but the truth is that you have the power to drive sustainability and make a significant impact on the planet beyond just providing accounting services.

The accounting profession is uniquely positioned to drive sustainability within organisations, given their financial data knowledge, ability to communicate effectively, and experience in driving change.

In this blog, we will explore how UK accountants can make a difference by driving sustainability and why they should. By doing so, you can contribute to a more sustainable future and leave a positive legacy for future generations.

First, let’s look at some statistics.

A study by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) found that more than 70% of the world’s largest companies report on their sustainability performance, with many of them using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. However, only 12% of companies use external assurance for their sustainability reports.

This is where accountants can make a significant impact by providing assurance on sustainability reports, thus increasing their credibility and transparency. Top accounting outsourcing companies also emphasize the importance of sustainability and train their accountants in that area.

Furthermore, according to a report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the role of accountants in sustainability is expanding, with sustainability reporting and assurance being two of the fastest-growing areas. The report also found that accountants are uniquely positioned to drive sustainability within their organisations due to their vast financial data knowledge and excellent communication skills.

So, how can accountants drive sustainability?

Change begins at home

One way accountants can facilitate this is by incorporating sustainability into their organisations’ strategies and decision-making processes. This can involve analysing the impact of their organisation’s activities on the environment and society, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing sustainable practices. It may also include outsourcing accounting services for cost savings and better utilisation of resources.

Accountants can also encourage their clients to adopt sustainable practices, help them measure and report on their sustainability performance, and provide financial advice to facilitate savings.

Assurance on sustainability reports

Another way accountants can drive sustainability is by providing assurance on sustainability reports. Assurance provides an independent opinion on the credibility and reliability of the information disclosed in the report. This can help build trust and confidence in the report’s readers and stakeholders, increasing transparency and accountability.

Educate clients

Accountants can also play a vital role in promoting sustainability by educating themselves and their clients on sustainability issues and best practices. They can stay up to date with the latest sustainability trends, legislation, and reporting frameworks, and use this knowledge to help their clients make informed decisions and take action on sustainability beyond simply providing accounting services.

Interesting Trivia

One interesting trivia is that the UK has committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, becoming the first major economy to make such a commitment. Accountants can play a crucial role in helping organisations achieve this goal by providing guidance on sustainable practices, identifying opportunities for emissions reductions, and measuring and reporting on their sustainability performance.

Another interesting fact is that sustainability reporting has become increasingly important to investors, with more than 80% of investors considering sustainability when making investment decisions, according to a report by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. This means that companies that prioritise sustainability are more likely to attract investment, which can lead to long-term growth and profitability.

Outsourcing accounting services for sustainability

As an accountant, you play a vital role in driving sustainability within your organisation. One way you can achieve this is by outsourcing accounting services. By outsourcing non-core activities such as bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation, you can reduce your carbon footprint, increase efficiency, and focus on driving sustainability in your core business activities.

Outsourcing can also help you access expertise and technology that you may not have in-house, enabling you to adopt sustainable practices and reduce waste. So, consider outsourcing your accounting services to drive sustainability and make a positive impact on the planet.

Summing Up

In conclusion, accountants can significantly impact the planet by driving sustainability. They can incorporate sustainability into their organisations’ strategies, provide assurance on sustainability reports, educate themselves and their clients on sustainability issues, and promote sustainable practices.

Moreover, they can outsource their mundane accountancy jobs to increase productivity and profitability, thus ensuring optimal use of time, effort, and resources.

Using the above strategies, accountants can help organisations achieve their sustainability goals, increase transparency and accountability, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

So, would you take up the challenge and drive sustainability as an accountant?

 

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Pooja Kshirsagar

With a rich experience of curating content for various industries, Pooja believes in the power of words in marketing and building brands. She enjoys experimenting with different forms of content and is currently on a mission to add value to the accounting industry through her detailed and researched write-ups.

Unauthorized copying or plagiarism of our content is a violation of intellectual property rights. We take such matters seriously and will pursue legal action to protect our original work. Anyone found engaging in such activities will be held accountable under applicable laws.

Originally published May 04, 2023 11:05:25, updated May 04 2023

Topics: accountants, accounting, Industry, sustainability


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