This paper is aimed at financial and management professionals who are seeking insight and understanding of the broad concepts of sustainability by:

  • Discussing the evolution that has led to changed expectations for corporate accountability.
  • Reviewing existing global initiatives that suggest the importance of addressing this issue.
  • Identifying key reporting aspects for organizations embracing sustainability and how these might be organized, structured, maintained, and monitored for effectiveness.
  • Providing a framework for organizations to recognize the issues and stand prepared to move forward as the need increases from external transparency demands as well as internal awareness and accountability.

Key Insights:

Management accountants must be:

  • Aware of legislation, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), as they define governance and accountability for the new age.
  • Prepared to adopt methods that extend accountability beyond financial-based reporting to prepare holistic performance reporting.
  • Familiar with sustainability reporting frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and SIGMA, and how and where they apply.
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