Date posted: 15/07/2021

Navigating The Reporting Landscape

An introduction to sustainability-related reporting for finance professionals

In brief

  • The Accounting Bodies Network (ABN) report provides key developments in non-financial corporate reporting
  • Societal awareness of environmental issues has now reached unprecedented levels
  • 96% of the world’s largest 250 companies now prepare sustainability reports

While business performance has historically been measured in financial terms, over the past two decades, reporting requirements are rapidly changing. Societal awareness of environmental and social issues is increasing and, as a result, stakeholders are demanding a wider range of information with a clear global trend towards mandatory sustainability reporting.

There are currently 614 sustainability reporting requirements across 84 countries and 25 Exchanges (covering 16,456 companies) require ESG reporting as a listing rule. Organisations are therefore relying on the knowledge, skills and processes of finance professionals, including the crucial role of the accountant, to get ahead of corporate reporting trends. 

“Given the rapid developments in the corporate reporting landscape we have seen recently look set to continue, it is crucial for accountants to stay up to date as they play an important role in this process”
Karen McWilliams, Business Reform Leader.

This guide, created by A4S and its Accounting Bodies Network, offers a brief introduction to the changing corporate reporting landscape. It summarises recent key developments in sustainability reporting. It shows how it is impacting the role of the accountant and shaping the future of corporate reporting. It also highlights how this area is likely to evolve going forward, offering signposting to further sources of information. 

Chartered Accountants ANZ is a member of the Accounting Bodies Network (ABN) which is a collaboration between A4S and professional bodies across the globe. Together the Network represents two thirds of the world’s accountants.

CA ANZ part of global Accounting Bodies Network

The ABN network represents over 2.5 million professional accountants and students across 179 countries, representing two thirds of the world’s accountants.

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