2 minute read 17 Mar 2020
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EY US partner supports SASB, helps investors navigate ESG issues

By

EY Americas

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

2 minute read 17 Mar 2020
Related topics Alumni

Marc Siegel is a strong believer in the importance of sustainability accounting standards.

As he finished his 10-year tenure as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in 2018, Marc Siegel, a partner in the Ernst & Young LLP Financial Accounting Advisory Services practice, says he learned a very important lesson: “Everything is interconnected.”

Now, as a member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), he finds that lesson even more relevant, as business leaders are now prioritizing the management and disclosure of factors like environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk and opportunities.

SASB develops and disseminates sustainability accounting standards that help public corporations disclose material, decision-useful information to investors. Siegel believes these standards help tell the same story across organizations while connecting financial and nonfinancial information.

“There’s been a growing recognition that the value of a company is not driven by financial information alone,” he explains. “Increasingly, it’s driven by assets not being captured by accounts.”

Metrics that can be used to delineate the performance of a company and show long-term value have been around for a while, Siegel adds, and recently he’s seen “an exponential increase” in interest in ESG matters.

“SASB focuses on the investor stakeholder and therefore focuses on things likely to be material for that industry and stakeholder. These really aren’t ESG issues, they’re business issues,” he says.

Because his career sits at “the intersection between accounting and the markets,” Siegel says he jumped at the opportunity to bring that experience first to the FASB and, later, to the SASB.

“While practitioners have been involved in the standard-setting process, they haven’t traditionally been accounting and financial people,” he says, “but it’s important for them to be involved. If ESG information is increasingly used by investors, those skill sets should be brought to bear.”

Serving as a standard-setter can be “an extremely rewarding experience, even if it’s not always popular,” he concludes, “but listening to and working with people from different perspectives contributes to a more robust standard-setting process.”

Summary

EY US partner and SASB board member Marc Siegel is a strong believer in sustainability accounting standards.

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By

EY Americas

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

Related topics Alumni