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Accountancy Has a Major Role to Play in UN Global Goals Attainment

Nov 9, 2016 | New York, New York | English

As we rapidly approach the 8.5 billion people on Earth expected by 2030, sustainable development challenges, such as inequality and extreme poverty, climate change, and trust in business and government, pose challenges for societies, economies, organizations, and financial markets. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals represent the means to sustain people, planet, and prosperity to 2030, and include a clear call for partnerships between the public, private, and voluntary sectors to address these challenges.

A new report from the International Federation of Accountants® (IFAC®) provides a snapshot of the accountancy profession’s contribution to achieving these Goals. “Accountancy is the basis of strong and sustainable organizations, financial markets, and economies,” said IFAC Chief Executive Officer Fayez Choudhury. “It is important for our profession to be conscious of how we contribute, both directly and indirectly, to the Goals. The skillset, experience, and influence professional accountants possess gives them enormous scope to shape solutions to sustainable development challenges.”

“‘Business as usual’ is no longer sustainable—if business ignores the Goals, they do so at their own peril,” said Charles Tilley, Chair of the IFAC Professional Accountants in Business Committee, which contributed to the report, as did the IFAC Professional Accountancy Organization Development Committee. “The public and private sectors should embrace the opportunities presented by the Goals to act in the public interest as well as create value for business and investors. What we do as accountants benefits society and contributes to the resilience of the organizations we work in, both of which are key themes of this publication.”

IFAC looks forward to a continuing dialogue within and beyond the profession on its role in mainstreaming, implementing, and monitoring the Goals, starting with a workshop on this topic at the IFAC Annual Council meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, November 16-17. 

About this Report
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A Snapshot of the Accountancy Profession’s Contribution
highlights the importance of the Goals to business and the profession, and considers how accountancy contributes to eight specific Goals. It features existing activities and initiatives within the profession that support the Goals and poses questions for professional accountancy organizations and professional accountants to consider.

About IFAC
is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.