Accountants have a key role to play in building a more sustainable future and addressing social injustice, according to a recent report from ACCA. Finance professionals from around the world were invited to share their views and these views were included in ACCA's report: Accounting for Society's Values.
The main messages contained in the report are that the future of the profession needs to embrace sustainability, including a social agenda that balances social equity with environmental action. The report highlights three key messages:
- The profession's future embraces sustainability through social equity and protecting the environment.
- Measuring the social agenda is difficult, but we must act.
- There is a strong business imperative to embed this agenda into strategy now.
So, what does this mean for the accounting and finance industry then?
Helen Brand, OBE and chief executive of ACCA says:
"The social agenda is a broad one and requires organisations to act now. Without the valued and proactive input of the accountancy and finance profession, the goal of reaching sustainability for all organisations will be unattainable. The profession has an opportunity to play its full part in enabling the just transition, not least the social aspect – one that it cannot afford to shirk."
Organisations need to consciously make a transition to a more sustainable future. Strategy for any organisation needs to start to look more holistically at the economic, environmental and social aspects in combination, rather than in isolation. As a society we are facing ongoing challenges from social injustice. Stakeholders and regulators are increasingly focusing on the social implications of the actions of organisations. And this is why it is essential to firstly define, and then measure, the return to society by an organisation's activities. This is becoming as important now as the financial objectives of an organisation themselves.
The full report can be read here:Accounting for Society’s Values | ACCA Global