November 18, 2021
Today, IFAC released a publication, “Sustainability Information for Small Businesses: The Opportunity for Practitioners,” exploring the diverse benefits of embracing sustainability information.
The report examines the importance of readily available, relevant, and reliable sustainability information for achieving better-informed decisions, enhanced strategic and risk management, and more thorough and valuable reporting to external stakeholders. It also highlights a range of emerging services that practitioners can provide to their clients, including advisory services, reporting, agreed-upon procedures (AUP) engagements, and assurance services.
Small businesses make up more than 90 percent of businesses worldwide; they are critical to achieving sustainable outcomes for economies, the environment and society. They can find significant advantages from establishing (or enhancing) processes, systems and controls for identifying, measuring, and analyzing sustainability information. This can include improved efficiencies and performance, as well as differentiation from competitors. Small businesses are also likely to be subject to sustainability-related reporting information requests from a diverse range of stakeholders, including large companies, banks, and suppliers—if they are not already.
This publication was developed with advice and guidance from the IFAC Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Advisory Group and builds on the Advisory Group’s work on practice transformation.
Although focusing on sustainability information and related services may seem premature for some small businesses and practitioners, the field is growing quickly. To speak to different practitioners’ unique circumstances, the publication includes suggestions on building knowledge and competencies and taking initial steps.
IFAC will explore these issues further in a webinar on December 15 titled “Sustainability Offers New Opportunities for SMPs” (with simultaneous translation into Spanish and French). The webinar will feature a panel discussion with practitioners who are providing services in this space.