The GAA responds to the request for information on the ISSB agenda priorities
September 1, 2023
The GAA supports the current work that the ISSB is undertaking towards a comprehensive global baseline for sustainability reporting and interoperability with jurisdictional initiatives.
The GAA recommends the ISSB prioritize the effective implementation of IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 and jurisdictional engagement to maximize and maintain baseline interoperability with respect to adoption of the standards. While the GAA considers the primary focus of the ISSB should be implementation support for IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, the GAA is supportive of the ISSB continuing with the momentum that has been established by conducting research on other sustainability topics.
The GAA notes that capacity building efforts will be required across government (regulators and standard setters), reporting entities, and assurance providers to support the effective implementation, and the GAA and its member bodies are already progressively building capacity to contribute and provide integrity to meet the evolving information needs of investors and other stakeholders.
Read the full comment letter.
The GAA calls on the accountancy profession to embrace strong business ethics
August 17, 2023
In a statement to the accountancy profession, the GAA chief executives are encouraging professional accountants to continue demonstrating a strong commitment to business ethics.
The GAA member bodies represent more than 1.4 million professional accountants who are united by a crucial undertaking – to act in the public interest and in accordance with a robust code of ethics.
“Together, we call on every professional accountant to continue demonstrating strength of character to do the right thing, especially when no one is looking and when times are tough.”
Read the full statement on ethics.
The GAA applauds ISSB’s launch of its first two sustainability disclosure standards
June 26, 2023
In a statement from the Chief Executives of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA), the global accounting bodies applaud the significant efforts undertaken by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to release the inaugural IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards (Standards) – IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information and IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures – less than two years after the board’s formation in November 2021.
The GAA looks forward to the benefits the implementation of these standards will bring to global capital markets, including giving investors robust and comparable information as a basis for making informed investment decisions and comparing sustainability performance amongst companies. The GAA also recognizes investor sustainability information needs beyond climate and look forward to engaging with the ISSB on its future work plan and priorities.
The global accounting profession has an important public interest responsibility. Professional accountants play a critical role in the integrity and effective functioning of our capital markets and these standards will enhance confidence in sustainability information. As finance and accounting professionals, our members have an important role to play in the effective implementation of and in providing assurance services over these new standards.
Read the full statement here.
GHG accounting and reporting for accountants
May 30, 2023
The GAA has partnered with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), We Mean Business Coalition (WMBC), Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) on guidance to help professional accountants and finance professionals deliver robust greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting.
The guidance aims to guide CFOs, accountants and finance professionals to build on existing systems and processes in order to undertake or enhance cost-effective and investor-grade GHG reporting.
The first part of the guidance – 8 Steps to Enhance GHG Reporting: A Roadmap for Accounting and Finance Professionals provides finance and accounting professionals with a roadmap to engage with others across their business to prepare for GHG emissions reporting requirements aligned to financial reporting processes. While the second – GHG Reporting Building Blocks for Accountants – equips accountants with the technical guidance necessary to collect and enhance the quality of data related to all scopes of GHG emissions at individual entity and group levels.
The publications have been released in preparation for the upcoming international and jurisdictional standards and regulations that will make it mandatory for companies to advance GHG reporting to new levels and provide investors with decision-useful information related to climate risks and opportunities. These include the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) General Sustainability-related Disclosures (IFRS S1) and Climate-related Disclosures (IFRS S2), the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group’s (EFRAG) European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) and proposed rules for climate change disclosures by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Economist Impact and GAA Ethics Event
On 11 May 2023, the GAA sponsored a panel discussion: championing ethical leadership amid competing pressures.
Moderated by Economist Impact, the event explored how business leaders, regulators, and professional bodies can work together to promote ethical behavior. Global leaders from various sectors shared how their organizations encourage accountability, balance competing pressures, and manage shifts in generational expectations. To learn more about the profession’s commitment to advancing ethics, explore our resources. Check out the insights from the event.
Recent articles and letters developed by the GAA
The Global Accounting Alliance’s comments on two exposure drafts issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board: IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information and IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures.
In advance of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 in April/May 2022, the Chief Executives of the Global Accounting Alliance released a Call to Action to the accountancy profession.