AICPA and CPA.com host inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance(ESG)Symposium to discuss the opportunities and impact of ESG for the accounting and finance profession
NEW YORK (May 25, 2022) – Top leaders in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) space convened yesterday at the inaugural AICPA and CPA.com ESG Symposium to exchange ideas and perspectives on emerging issues and to discuss the critical role of the finance and accounting profession within the ESG category.
The event, hosted by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and its business and technology arm CPA.com, brought together a diverse group of more than 50 investors, CPA firm leaders, corporate finance officers, technologists, standard setters, lenders and thought leaders to identify, categorize and prioritize the myriad interest areas in the ESG ecosphere for the accounting and finance profession.
“We couldn’t be more energized by the success of our first ESG Symposium. The event brought together top leaders to discuss the accelerating market demand for ESG services, the opportunities it offers for the accounting and finance profession, and the leadership underway across the various stakeholder groups,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “We look forward to continuing to build on this momentum to provide leadership across the entire ESG ecosystem.
The symposium agenda covered topics ranging from changing regulatory requirements, new reporting standards, marketplace demands and the growing need for ESG advisory and assurance services. CPA.com will release a special report later this year that recaps key themes and takeaways from the event. Some of those include:
The confluence of proposed international and national ESG regulations that are creating momentum in the ESG space. The profession has a strong voice in helping shape the future of global ESG standards.
CPAs are well positioned to meet marketplace demands with the innate skills, experience and systems to assure the performance of quality services and core values of independence, integrity and competency. Firms are already building on services to help clients with their ESG strategy, reporting and assurance needs.
Corporate finance leaders are beginning to lead internal efforts to gather and report on ESG efforts to improve decision-making and demonstrate value creation.
ESG covers broad and nascent topics. Accounting and finance professionals will need to expand their knowledge of the category to best advise clients and organizations on ESG best practices.
Today’s consumers and employees want to buy from - and work for - organizations whose values align with their own. Firms and organizations that adopt ESG practices will be well positioned to secure top talent and build strong client and customer relationships.
Investors, particularly the younger generation, want to work with companies that invest responsibly and balance purpose with profit. ESG reporting will become a cornerstone of financial reporting.
The ESG Symposium will become an annual event and will follow a similar format to the AICPA & CPA.com Blockchain Symposium, which is now in its sixth year.
“AICPA & CIMA have worked hard to promote the consolidation of global standards for ESG, and the category is a significant strategic focus for us as it becomes more central to business decision-making,” said Susan Coffey, CPA, CGMA, CEO – Public Accounting, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. “We’ve been supporting ESG initiatives for well over a decade and we’re seeing new momentum from policy makers and heightened demand from investors, lenders and other market participants for this kind of information. The symposium serves as a great listening post and source of input from key leaders in the ESG space in accounting and finance.”
Resources to support accounting and finance professionals
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the unified voice of AICPA and CIMA, recognizes the growing opportunity for CPAs and finance professionals to elevate their role as trusted advisors in the ESG space and has introduced several initiatives and resources including:
An ESG-focused Startup Accelerator cohort to support the development of ESG technology tools for the profession
ESG Fundamental Course – coming soon
For more information please visit http://aicpa.org/esg.