3. Integrating the accounting and finance function
A company can only deliver value to all its stakeholders when it draws on the skills and input of the entire organization, under the shared vision of leadership. Accounting and finance can play a key role in this collective effort by engaging with, understanding and connecting the requirements of stakeholders — particularly investors — and translating those into relevant and material metrics and disclosures.
Reporting must be trusted, credible and relevant to stakeholders and make a clear link between financial and nonfinancial information. CFOs and financial controllers can instill discipline into nonfinancial reporting processes and controls, based on their experience and knowledge of leading practices to support sustainability and ESG reporting. The finance function can help to establish effective governance and obtain independent assurance over nonfinancial processes, controls and data outputs — vital to building trust and transparency with stakeholders.
As illustrated in our new report, The future of sustainability reporting standards, produced in collaboration with Oxford Analytica, the next 12-18 months are likely to result in the most significant innovations in corporate accounting and reporting in decades.
While jurisdictional and global standards are developed, we must remember that climate reporting and disclosures are not a panacea for our net zero future — but they are critical to the global challenge to reduce emissions and combat climate change.