Collaborating as part of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA), the CEOs are signing the call to action Nature is Everyone’s Business, to signal the important role the profession plays in this crisis.
The GAA collectively represents over 1.4 million accountants and finance professionals in over 180 countries. As part of the call to action, these professionals are required to advocate for the support, protection and restoration of nature through finance activities and investment decisions made by the business community. This ties in closely with the expectations of investors and other stakeholders for businesses to focus on environmental, social and governance issues – expectations that will only become stronger in the longer term.
Of the 180 countries, South Africa is represented by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), whose goal is to provide a wide range of support services to more than 50 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants (CAs[SA]), associate general accountants (AGAs[SA]) and accounting technicians (ATs[SA]). Freeman Nomvalo, SAICA CEO, says: “As a profession rooted in ‘serving society’, SAICA fully supports solutions that will assist in reaching all the targets set under the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. When it comes to the Goals relating to nature and the environment, we recognise that ending environmental decline and restoring our planet is essential for sustainable development. By signing the “Nature is everyone’s business” call to action, SAICA and its members pledge to do our part to reverse the profound consequences destroying our planet is having on human survival and well-being.”
At the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 in April/May 2022, the world can adopt a transformative international agreement on nature, and both businesses and governments must be included. “There is growing demand for sustainability and conservation,” says Jim Knafo, GAA CEO. “We are at a pivotal moment and the global accounting profession must be part of the solution going forward because nature is everyone’s business.”
As part of their joint statement, the GAA CEOs said that they were committed to working with governments to establish and align coherent policy frameworks that accelerate business action to reverse the adverse effects of nature loss; build the profession’s knowledge, understanding and awareness of nature loss; and provide professional accountants with training, support and infrastructure to value and embed nature in decision making and disclosure. “We recognise that our planet is being impacted by a three-fold crisis of a climate emergency, dramatic nature loss and rising social inequality. Addressing these challenges will require integrated thinking as companies reallocate resources, reorient production and reimagine their business models. We all depend on nature, but it is the poorest in the world who are disproportionately affected by its loss and impacted by climate change. Protecting nature must be a key consideration as we collectively move forward”, they explained.
The CEOs are also supporting the alignment of consistent global regulation and globally accepted disclosure frameworks that integrate nature, people and climate into corporate reporting.
The 10 accounting bodies that have signed the statement are the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants representing AICPA & CIMA, Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI), Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. (IDW), The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA) and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 50 000 members and associates who are CAs(SA), as well as AGAs(SA) and ATs(SA), who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development. CAs are highly valued for their versatile skill set and creative lateral thinking, that’s why all of the top 100 Global Brands employ Chartered Accountants.
ICAS is a professional body for more than 22,000 world class business people who work in the UK and in more than 100 countries around the world. Members have all achieved the internationally recognised and respected CA qualification (Chartered Accountant). ICAS is an educator, examiner, regulator and thought leader. Almost two thirds of ICAS’ working membership are in business; many leading some of the UK’s and the world’s great companies. The others work in accountancy practices ranging from the Big Four in The City to the small practitioner in rural areas.
About AICPA & CIMA
Formed by members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, AICPA & CIMA, builds on a century-long heritage of excellence. In 2012, AICPA & CIMA established the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation to provide members with a new level of resources and recognition.
CAI is a membership body representing over 30,000 influential members throughout the globe. Our role is to educate, represent and support our members. Our members work in senior positions in practice and industry. We are committed to restoring confidence at every level of the economy. We work with governments and businesses to raise awareness of the importance of sound financial advice.
About CPA Canada
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) works collaboratively with the provincial, territorial and Bermudian CPA bodies, as it represents the Canadian accounting profession, both nationally and internationally. This collaboration allows the Canadian profession to champion best practices that benefit business and society, as well as prepare its members for an ever-evolving operating environment featuring unprecedented change. Representing more than 220,000 members, CPA Canada is one of the largest national accounting bodies worldwide.
About CA ANZ
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand represents more than 131,000 financial professionals, supporting them to make a difference to the businesses, organisations and communities in which they work and live. Chartered Accountants are known as Difference Makers. The depth and breadth of their expertise helps them to see the big picture and chart the best course of action.
The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) is the statutory body established by the Professional Accountants Ordinance responsible for the professional training, development and regulation of certified public accountants in Hong Kong. The Institute has more than 47,000 members and 17,000 registered students.
There are more than 1.8m chartered accountants and students around the world and 186,500 of them are members and students of ICAEW. They are talented, ethical and committed professionals, which is why all of the top 100 Global Brands employ chartered accountants. ICAEW promotes inclusivity, diversity and fairness. We attract talented individuals into the profession and give them the skills and values they need to build resilient businesses, economies and societies, while ensuring our planet’s resources are managed sustainably.
The Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. [Institute of Public Auditors in Germany, Incorporated Association] (IDW) is a privately run organisation established to serve the interests of its members who comprise both individual German Public Auditors and German Public Audit firms.
The JICPA is the sole organisation for the CPA profession in Japan. It was originally formed in 1949 as a self-regulatory association and reorganized under the Certified Public Accountants Act in 1966.