In June 2022, EU policymakers reached an agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The new law enhances sustainability reporting requirements and will impact over 50 000 companies. It also introduces an EU wide limited assurance requirement, a first for sustainability information.
The CSRD comes with additional educational requirements for the statutory auditors to provide assurance on sustainability information. They will have to acquire the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge on this and pass the required examination.
This is a major shift for the accountancy profession and getting adequate training will be key. Many small practitioners will rely on their professional institute to help them get ready to take up this new challenge.
Accountancy Europe serves as a platform to exchange experience and good practice among Member Bodies. This page showcases how they have integrated sustainability into their professional education frameworks.For more information contact [email protected].
Germany – IDW
Gillian Waldbauer, Head of International Affairs at IDW, shares what the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany has been doing on sustainability education to support German auditors:
Ireland – Chartered accountants Ireland (CAI)
Chartered Accountants Ireland has prequalification and post qualification sustainability training for their members.
In 2019, CAI started off by integrating sustainability in a prequalification curriculum with the introduction of such concepts like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and developing case studies asking their students to reflect their knowledge of CSR principles to coming to the right decisions.
CAI’s continuing professional development (CPD) framework offers pyramid approach recognising that different accountants’ categories will have different requirements and levels of knowledge, e.g., Board level will need very concise briefings – see more in the video.
CAI aims for their members to understand the challenges, identify the risks and to be able to communicate to their stakeholders on the issues at hand.
Norway – revisor foreningen
The Norwegian Institute of Public Accountants teamed up with Big 5 audit firms (IBDO, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, PwC) to launch a program – Academy on sustainability reporting. This is meant to be a practical course that puts EFRAG’s European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) exposure drafts in practice.
The Academy on sustainability reporting consists of seven modules or seven days that will be spread over three months starting as from September 2022. This is tailored for both auditors and reporting companies.Additional course for Boards, CFOs and audit committees is expected to be launched in the autumn 2022.
UK – ICAEW
Susanna Di Feliciantonio, Head of EU Public Affairs at ICAEW, explains how the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has been helping its members on the journey to a more sustainable business future: