Date posted: 13/09/2022

The place where sustainability meets action

Four global standard setters will join together at the World Congress of Accountants as the countdown for new sustainability standards by the end of the year continues.

In brief

  • It is critical for the ISSB and other bodies to take a coordinated approach
  • The role of Chartered Accountants in the sustainability sphere is only set to grow
  • WCOA will be held in India and virtually on 18-21 November.

Established at COP26, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) set itself an ambitious deadline to form a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability disclosures by the end of 2022. With the end of the year fast approaching, the upcoming World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) will be a critical juncture to gain insight into the new standards.

Held in India and virtually on 18-21 November, WCOA will see four global standards boards unite to discuss how they will support high-quality sustainability disclosures including the ISSB, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants.

“Following over 1,300 responses to the ISSB’s consultation including our own joint submission, we are in a crucial and unique period where the entire accounting profession around the world is waiting to see the outcome,” said Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Business Reform Leader Karen McWilliams FCA.

“We are at the starting line and it is critical for the ISSB and other bodies involved in the sustainability disclosure ecosystem to take a coordinated approach from the outset. 

“Be a part of the dialogue as the standards are being shaped.”
Karen McWilliams FCA

“We need key definitions, concepts, terminologies, and metrics on which disclosure requirements are built to be consistent, scalable and capable of being assured.”.

“The panel of the four global bodies is an encouraging, visible symbol that they are working together to support high-quality, global sustainability disclosures, which is something we have advocated for.”

The role of Chartered Accountants in the sustainability sphere is only set to grow, with CA investor surveys showing a rising demand for increased disclosures for many years. 

From setting and evaluating climate strategies through to measuring and reporting performance, accountants are being urged to take the time now to build the skills they need for this emerging aspect of their role. 

“Soon understanding, measuring and assuring matters beyond the financials, such as the impact of climate, isn’t going to be a nice-to-have skill on job advertisements, but a must have,” said McWilliams.

“This is a chance to turn theory into action, to understand how the global context is shaping up and the direction its heading in so you can take it back to your business and guide your people.

“Be a part of the dialogue during these fundamental, early conversations as the sustainability disclosures are being shaped and refined.”

Register for the 2022 World Congress of Accountants

CA ANZ members enjoy a range of special deals including an early bird registration rate until 15 September 2022.

Find out more

The incoming global baseline for sustainability disclosures: the ISSB consultation

Read our open letter from CEO Ainslie van Onselen on the ISSB’s consultation on sustainability and climate-related disclosure standards

Read more

Submission on the International Financial Reporting Standards’ (IFRS) Sustainability Disclosure Standards

Our joint submission with CPA Australia to the ISSB consultation.

Read more

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