IMA creates task force to encourage sustainability reporting

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has set up a sustainable business management global task force to represent the management accounting profession, accountants, and finance professionals in business, on shaping the development of sustainability reporting

This comes as governments, regulators, and standard-setters debate the future of accounting and a range of new corporate reporting requirements ahead of the November 2021 UN COP26 conference in Glasgow, with major announcements expected from several authoritative bodies, including plans to set up the new International Sustainability Standards Board, under the wing of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

‘Just about all of the emphasis today with respect to sustainable business is on external ESG (environmental, social, governance) reporting,’ said Brigitte de Graaff, CMA, CSCA, chair of the task force.

‘While this is important, it is not the whole story. We want to lead by emphasising the role of management accounting and finance in facilitating the building of resilient, sustainable businesses. We aim to be the voice of the profession to make sure management’s perspective in these significant changes to accounting are not overlooked but prominent.’

As one of its primary objectives, the task force is defining a set of fundamental principles for building a sustainable accounting ecosystem.

Jeff Thomson, IMA president and CEO, said: ‘As the world continues to change, so too must business change to focus more holistically on sustainable business management for long term value creation. IMA is making the case that sustainable business is good business in a complex, uncertain, and multi-stakeholder environment.

‘We’ve shown the world accountancy for the 21st century - how the CMA certification is different because the body of knowledge emphasises strategic thinking, analytics, decision making, and business leadership across an organisation for both tangible and intangible value creation.’ 

The task force will focus on a number of key areas, including:

  • advocate on behalf of the profession before governments, regulatory authorities, and other organisations on sustainable business management and the perspectives of accountants and financial professionals in business;
  • educate IMA members and the global business community on the role of accounting and finance professionals relating to sustainable business information and management.

‘IMA is uniquely positioned to address the critical role of the profession in building sustainable businesses,’ said Shari Littan, IMA director of corporate reporting research and policy. ‘As this area continues to evolve, we will develop thought leadership and education to support our professionals, who will be assuming important responsibilities for meeting these evolving demands. We aim to support this in a way that builds value for all stakeholders, promotes trust, and facilitates meaningful action.’

Useful links

Croner-i Navigate provides guidance, commentary and tools for sustainability reporting. See Navigate UK GAAP Accounting – ESG Reporting, our climate related reporting Quick Link, and our energy and carbon reporting Quick Link for a selection of these resources


Sara White |Editor, Accountancy Daily

Sara White is editor of Accountancy Daily...

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