Equipping accountants for sustainability

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has unveiled proposals to change the International Education Standards (IES), so they embed sustainability – from analysis to reporting to assurance – across aspiring professional accountants’ training.

IFAC CEO Lee White emphasised the significance of the changes, stating: “Investors and other stakeholders need sustainability reports and disclosures that are on a par with the high-quality, decision-useful financial reports that accountants already deliver. To be future-fit, accountants must develop the right competencies to meet this need. The proposals provide a robust framework for the progression to develop capable accountants who produce report, and assure sustainability information.”

Key proposals include:

  • Emphasising working with experts and in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Introducing key sustainability reporting concepts, such as systems thinking, value chains and scenario analysis.
  • Referencing relevant sustainability reporting and assurance standards.
  • Creating new assurance competence area and learning outcomes.