Newsletters & eNews
Apr 03, 2012
New York, New York
In This Issue:
- PAIB Committee Submits Comment Letters to IESBA, COSO
- Recent PAIB Report Available for Use Locally
- Coming Soon—Interview with PAIB Committee Chair in Next IFAC Newsletter
- UNCTAD Hosts Workshop on Climate Change
- Hong Kong Institute of CPAs to Host PAIB Workshop
- New Corporate Sustainability Study Out from E&Y, GreenBiz Group
- HKEx Looks to Help Companies Report on ESG Factors
- ACCA Releases Study on Corporate Reports
- CMA Canada to Host Scenario Planning Webinar
1. PAIB Committee Submits Comment Letters to IESBA, COSO
The PAIB Committee submitted two comment letters in March addressing the perspectives of professional accountants in business. The comment letter regarding the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Exposure Draft on Proposed Changes to the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the Code) Addressing Conflicts of Interest includes expansion of some of the definitions and parameters to better cover the work and domain of professional accountants in business. The letter also addresses how professional accountants in business can further an ethics-based culture in their organization, including developing a code of conduct in line with the provisions in the Code (more information on developing a code of conduct is available in the International Good Practice Guidance Defining and Developing an Effective Code of Conduct for Organizations). Comment letters from additional stakeholders are available on the IFAC website.
The PAIB Committee also submitted a comment letter to the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) on its recently released Internal Control – Integrated Framework update. The comment letter addresses the need for integration of risk management and internal control frameworks and embracing a wider perspective instead of being limited to internal control over reporting, operations, and compliance, beginning with the adoption of a broadened definition of internal control and the inclusion of the strategic objective. The comment letter also references some of the specific recommendations the PAIB Committee received in its Global Survey on Risk Management and Internal Control, which revealed a widely held desire for risk management and internal control systems to be better integrated into organizations’ overall governance, strategy, and operations.
2. Recent PAIB Report Available for Use Locally
In addition to Investor Demand for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Disclosures: Implications for Professional Accountants in Business, which addresses the recent rise in ESG expectations from investors, the PAIB Committee has also published an Executive Summary of the key findings, including the core sector-neutral metrics and key performance indicators most frequently used. These publications are available for IFAC members and associates for local customization and/or translation. To date, more than ten IFAC members have requested permission to reprint or translate Competent and Versatile to use in various ways, including circulating to employers to raise awareness of the diverse roles and competencies of professional accountants in business.
If your organization is interested, please visit the Translations and Permissions page of the IFAC website for a sample permission request, which will need to be completed and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, please contact Stathis Gould (email@example.com).
3. Coming Soon—Interview with PAIB Committee Chair in Next IFAC Newsletter
Stay tuned for an interview with Roger Tabor, chair of the PAIB Committee, in the next issue of the IFAC Newsletter, which will be published in April. If you are not currently subscribed to the Newsletter, you can do so from the IFAC website (you must first Register or Login to subscribe to publications). In the interview, Mr. Tabor discusses the recent achievements of the Committee, future projects, and some of the most pressing issues for professional accountants in business.
4. UNCTAD Hosts Workshop on Climate Change
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently hosted the Workshop of Climate Change, which gave participants the opportunity to weigh in on the evolution of climate change reporting policies. Additionally, the presentations and discussions will inform a new joint project between UNCTAD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, and the Global Reporting Initiative to be launched prior to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012. Michael Nugent, IFAC technical manager and International Integrated Reporting Council senior technical manager, gave a presentation detailing some of the findings from Investor Demand for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Disclosures: Implications for Professional Accountants in Business as well as the International Standard on Assurance Engagements 3410, Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements, from the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board for Accountants. Additional presentations and workshop materials are available on the documents tab of the UNCTAD website.
5. Hong Kong Institute of CPAs to Host PAIB Workshop
The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants is hosting PAIB Workshop: Investor Relations for Listed Companies on April 14, 2012. The workshop will focus on how to build a successful, long-term relationship with investors. Topics covered will include the purposes of investor relations; how investor relations drives stock performance; technology and investor relations; and the investor relations profession and challenges in Hong Kong. PAIB Committee member Susanna Chiu is the chair of the PAIB Leadership Panel with the Institute.
6. New Corporate Sustainability Study Out from E&Y, GreenBiz Group
Ernst & Young, in conjunction with GreenBiz Group, has released Six Growing Trends in Corporate Sustainability, which reveals an increasing financial focus on sustainability efforts that impact core business objectives. The report shows six overall trends: sustainability reporting is growing, but the tools are still developing; the chief financial officer’s role in sustainability is on the rise; employees have emerged as a key stakeholder group for sustainability programs and reporting; despite regulatory uncertainty, greenhouse gas reporting remains strong and there is growing interest in water; awareness is on the rise regarding the scarcity of business resources; and rankings and ratings matter to company executives.
7. HKEx Looks to Help Companies Report on ESG Factors
In recognition of an increasing focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) is helping equip listed companies with practical tools for reporting ESG factors. The HKEx website includes materials from a series of training seminars and workshops on ESG reporting for various sectors.
Additionally, the HKEx released Draft ESG Reporting Guideline in December 2011, which addresses subject areas, general disclosure, and key performance indicators and includes a comparison of ESG regulations in various markets. The comment deadline is April 9, 2012. The HKEx anticipates the final version of the guidance to outline recommended best practices and lead to the long-term vision of upgrading the reporting requirement of “comply or explain.”
8. ACCA Releases Study on Corporate Reports
According to a new study from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), annual reports continue to be important but issues with complexity, target audience, and report length undercut their value. Reassessing the Value of Corporate Reporting found that stakeholders want to see additional information on potential risks that could affect performance; how companies intend to manage or mitigate key risks; and real-time, externally assured reports.
9. CMA Canada to Host Scenario Planning Webinar
Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) is hosting a free webinar on scenario planning on April 17, 2012, to address ways to make sound business decisions when the outcomes can’t be predicted. The webinar will provide a structured framework for identifying and evaluating possible future outcomes; a proven model for decision making when outcomes are unknown; and a step-by-step methodology to integrate scenario planning into management processes. Additional information and registration is available on the CMA Canada website.
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