IFAC, the global voice of the accountancy profession, today called for the creation of a new sustainability standards board that would exist alongside the IASB under the IFRS Foundation. The proposed board would address the urgent and growing demand from investors, policy makers and regulators for a reporting system that delivers consistent, comparable, reliable, and assurable information relevant to enterprise value creation, sustainable development and evolving stakeholder expectations.
IFAC’s overview of the objectives, structure and building blocks of the proposed board can be found at The Way Forward.
Kevin Dancey, CEO of IFAC, said, “The time for a global solution is now. Given the momentum that has developed this year—because of work by Accountancy Europe, WEF/IBC, the European Commission, the IOSCO Task Force and the five leading reporting initiatives—we have a unique opportunity to act in concert to do the right thing in the public interest. IFAC believes the IFRS Foundation, with the backing of public authorities, is optimally positioned to lead and coordinate this initiative, and they would do so with our full support. We recommend that the proposed board adopt a “building blocks” approach, working with and leveraging the expertise and disclosure requirements of the CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC and SASB.”
Veronica Poole, Global IFRS Leader and Head of Corporate Reporting at Deloitte, said: “Transparent measurement and disclosure of sustainability performance is a fundamental part of effective business management and is essential for preserving trust in business as a force for good. IFAC’s vision is fully aligned with the joint vision of the leading standard-setters on how their current standards and frameworks could complement IFRS Standards and US GAAP, and serve as a natural starting point for progress towards a more coherent, comprehensive corporate reporting system.”
“We now have a unique opportunity to accelerate progress and house all the relevant standards under one roof as suggested by IFAC, to connect sustainability disclosure standards focused on enterprise value creation to financial GAAP. Integrated reporting together with the IASB’s work on Management Commentary can provide a framework for this connectivity. IOSCO has stated its commitment to bring about the system change for the capital markets and the IFRS Foundation trustees indicated that they are going to consult on introducing a sustainability focused standard-setter under the umbrella of the IFRS Foundation—the stars are lining up to bring about the fundamental shift in reporting that investors, business and society at large have been calling for.”
Charles Tilley, IIRC Chief Executive Officer, said, “The IIRC has long championed a vision of a comprehensive and cohesive corporate reporting system to drive effective corporate governance and sustainable value creation. Bridging the gap between the two worlds of financial reporting and sustainability reporting is a vital element in fulfilling this vision and we support the development of a conceptual framework, based substantially on integrated reporting principles, to facilitate the linkages that will break down silos and restore trust.”
Barry Melancon, AICPA President and CEO, and IIRC Board Chair, added, “IFAC’s recommendations are powerful, coming out at a time when the world is in search of answers. This is an important moment for the IFRS Trustees, as businesses and investors need robust and trusted standards and interconnected oversight. A cohesive approach to reporting is not just more efficient, it is essential to unlock the positive force of value creation. We also need innovation to complete the corporate reporting system, to ensure we have an assurance process that is fit for purpose and the technology to support high quality reporting and governance.”