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.
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.