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Integrated Internal Control Needed to Build Trust in Sustainability Reporting

Dec 12, 2023 | New York, New York | English

IFAC has published Building Trust in Sustainability Reporting: The Urgent Need for Integrated Internal Control to address the demand for high-quality sustainability reporting and to prepare professional accountants for mandatory international and jurisdictional reporting and assurance requirements. This analysis highlights how companies can integrate sustainability information within their existing internal control and governance frameworks.

Professional accountants are ideally positioned to leverage existing internal control frameworks and apply them to sustainability information—enhancing both data quality and the connectivity of sustainability and financial reporting.

The COSO Internal Control - Integrated Framework has long provided a good foundation for delivering confidence in corporate reporting. In an integrated internal control environment, it can provide the foundation for enhancing the quality of sustainability data used for measuring progress on key sustainability objectives and deliver confidence to investors in the sustainability and financial performance of companies.

To bring about sustainability and climate transitions, companies and investors need to make economic decisions based on information they can trust— related to risks and opportunities, performance and resilience. An integrated internal control approach will lead to higher quality and more integrated reporting and help companies avoid perceptions of greenwashing and regulatory or legal action.

 “The professional accountant’s skillset is instrumental in bringing about a step change in the quality of sustainability reporting through applying new reporting standards and integrated internal controls,” said Kevin Dancey, IFAC CEO. “Integrated internal control can put sustainability information on par with financial information, enhance its assurance readiness, and set the foundation for transitioning to a more sustainable business model.”

See IFAC's website and the ISSB’s Knowledge Hub which includes free resources for preparers to help them prepare for applying IFRS S1 and IFRS S2.

About IFAC

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 180 members and associates in 135 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.