As several countries make their way through and eventually out of the coronavirus pandemic, the opportunities and responsibilities that Accountants bear could get more diverse than ever.
Accountants through their professional expertise are perceived as leaders building and implementing strategies to create long-term value. They assess the real cost that corporate activities generate and through transparent communication to the shareholders have become the major reliable source for a stable economy.
The Accountancy profession plays a significant role in tackling pressing global issues like climate change mitigation and adaptation. Accountants are strategic partners in the transition towards a more sustainable future.
Accountants play a role in ensuring that a company gains benefits from its sustainable practices by enhancing employee retention, customer satisfaction and subsidies that help companies become more sustainable.
“Accounts and Accountability are well balanced by Accountants themselves!!”
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has emphasised that climate risks should be managed like any other risk, in line with existing prudential risk management standards. APRA has also supported the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). It has engaged with international regulators on climate risks through its involvement with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the United Nations Environment’s Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF), which APRA chairs.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) recommends that listed companies disclose meaningful and useful climate-risk-related information to investors, and strongly encourages listed companies with material exposure to climate change to consider reporting voluntarily under the TCFD framework. In a 2018 report, it found that most large Australian listed companies considered climate risks to some extent, with some identifying these risks as material. But climate risk disclosure was often too fragmented, general, or not comprehensive enough to be useful for investors.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) monitors climate risks as part of its monetary policy and financial stability mandates. This involves working to incorporate the potential impacts of climate change into the outlook for the economy and monitoring the evolving risks to financial institutions. The RBA is also involved in international efforts to improve regulators’ understanding of the implications of climate change for the financial sector, including through the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), a group of central banks and supervisors.
(Highlighted is an extract from RBA website)