Advisers lack green expertise

Auditors need a firmer grip on understanding how to measure the impact of the
environment on business, if green reporting it is to have any creditability,
according to experts in the profession.

The International Accounting Standards Board and the UK Accounting Standards
Board are currently in discussions on how to include environmental information
within financial reports.

However, auditors don’t fully understand what they are signing off against in
terms of environmental reports claims Alan Knight, head of AccountAbility, the
international institute which promotes social and ethical accounting, at a
recent SAP “future of sustainability reporting” conference. The problem is that
“auditors are not sure about and not comfortable” with that information, he

Nelmar Arbex, director of learning and services at the Global Reporting
Initiative, which recently produced a study on transparency sustainability
reporting, said: “We need to retrain the accountants and build new skills at
lots of levels.”

She believes standard setters, environmentalists and auditors need to work
together to give green assurance credibility in the future.

Michael Barber, corporate responsibility partner at Deloitte, said advisers
are working with the IASB and ICAEW to build confidence around environmental

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