Geneva, Switzerland, 16 April: As COVID-19 has shaken businesses and the whole society in an unprecedented way, ensuring the quality of companies’ disclosed data remains vital to strengthen trust and confidence in the information reported. Assurance can further enhance the reliability and credibility of information used by all stakeholders. Working towards improving disclosure and assurance, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is requesting public input on it’s non-authoritative Extended External Reporting (EER) Guidance by July 13, 2020.
Organizations are increasingly reporting about their broader performance or impact either voluntarily or as required by law or regulation. In addition, there is a growing demand for assurance engagements on such reporting. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) supports the IAASB’s EER Assurance project through the Redefining Value program’s Assurance and internal controls work.
“Extended external reporting and the role it has to play will only continue to grow in importance,” said Tom Seidenstein, Chair of the IAASB. “It’s a very exciting time for the IAASB as the work we’re undertaking today to develop international assurance guidance for non-financial information in the form of EER will, we believe, pave the way for much greater engagement and consistency in this area. We welcome and encourage all feedback during our comment period, which runs through July 13, and look forward to learning from the comments we receive.”
Rodney Irwin, Managing Director, Redefining Value and Education at WBCSD comments “The current pandemic shock has truly put companies and markets to the test. Now more than ever, improving the confidence of investors and other corporate report users is key and requires robust external assurance that follows IAASB’s standards. This draft guidance marks a critical step in moving towards that goal. WBCSD is committed through our program of activities to continue to strengthen assurance of non-financial information.”
EER encapsulates many different forms of reporting including, but not limited to, integrated reporting, sustainability reporting and other reporting by entities about financial and non-financial matters, including environmental, social and governance matters, related to an entity’s activities.
The purpose of the IAASB’s Public Consultation on Proposed Guidance, Extended External Reporting Assurance is to promote consistent high-quality application of ISAE 3000 (Revised) Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information so as to:
- Strengthen the influence of EER assurance engagements on the quality of EER reports;
- Enhance user trust in the resulting assurance reports; and
- Engender greater confidence in the credibility of, trust in and reliance upon EER reports by their intended users.
Click here for more information on the report, feedback and consideration areas.
This WBCSD-sponsored project is part of our wider assurance and internal controls project which seeks to help companies generate value through robust internal controls and obtaining external assurance on their sustainability disclosures. Assurance of sustainability information is fragmented and there needs to be more consistency if we’re to trust and rely on external sustainability assurance. By targeting three workstreams; investors, companies and standard setters, WBCSD is developing solutions to support and enhance the credibility and reliability of non-financial information.
This work is part of a conservation and financial markets collaboration among Ceres, WBCSD, World Wildlife Fund and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. For more information, please visit www.moore.org