The International Federation of Accountants has published a review of some of the most helpful research done by academics, accounting organizations and firms over the years on the role that accountants are increasingly playing in sustainability reporting and assurance.
The paper identifies some recurring themes on the new and existing competencies needed by accountants to provide these kinds of services and the education strategies and challenges for accountants. Sustainability reporting has become a more important part of the accounting profession in recent years given the efforts by the International Sustainability Standards Board and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and others to provide a path toward globally aligned sustainability standards.
“Effective educational strategies offered for developing these competencies in aspiring and professional accountants include those that are the most hands-on or immerse students most fully in real-life scenarios,” said the report. “These include strategies like project-based learning, case-based learning, and experiential learning. Strategies for continuing professional development refer to the importance of a skills-focused education and rapid training programs to upskill the workforce through programs offering digital badges, micro-credentials, and stackable credentials. Finally, the most frequently cited challenges associated with developing these competencies in aspiring and professional accountants include resource constraints, an already-full core curriculum subject to accreditation standards, and a lack of consensus and wide uncertainty on the scope, definition and implementation of sustainability reporting.”
The literature review also informed
In addition to the literature review, IFAC will be hosting a
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