ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) will this week inform the thirteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) that high quality accounting, financial reporting and auditing can play a crucial role in improving economic performance around the world.
UNCTAD’s Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) will hold an event on 22 April focusing on the role of the accountancy profession as part of the UNCTAD XIII quadrennial conference held in Doha, Qatar. The conference has the theme of enhancing sustainable economic development.
At the ISAR event, Martin Turner, ACCA’s Vice President, will emphasise the importance of capacity building in the accountancy profession to ensure there are the necessary number of qualified accountants to guide economic development in emerging markets at all stages of their economic growth. He will also focus on the crucial role of accountants in promoting sustainability, and will draw on material from a policy paper ACCA has prepared to coincide with the event called The role of the accountancy profession in economic development.
Martin Turner says: ‘ACCA is pleased to be part of this high-level ministerial event and to have an opportunity to emphasise the crucial role we believe the accountancy profession plays in supporting sustainable economic development. UNCTAD-ISAR has been tireless in its efforts to enhance the capacity and ability of the global accountancy profession to help bring nations into the world economy. A key part of its mission is to promote globally sustainable economies, a goal which ACCA wholly endorses.’
The role of the accountancy profession in economic development looks at the on-going need for global standards, and how the requirements and demands of quality reporting can drive other improvements in countries’ accounting capability. The paper also looks at sustainability issues, with ACCA asserting that long-term value is enhanced when companies embed sustainability into their business strategy and key processes, rather than treating it as an add-on activity. The relatively new concept of integrated reporting is also examined in the paper.
ACCA accepts that the scale of the global financial crisis could lead to a declining interest in these issues, at least in the short term, among some stakeholders. However, ACCA argues that environmental, social and governance issues are instrumental to long-term corporate success and value creation.
Neil Stevenson, ACCA’s executive director – brand, concludes: 'This policy paper is a manifesto to champion the accountancy profession and its role in capacity building. Put simply, strong national professions are required to develop a strong global profession. As well as seeking continuous improvement to all that we do in the profession, there is an urgent need to ensure we communicate to business, government and regulators the value we bring.'