Need to know: IAASB’s new global sustainability assurance standard
New ISSB reporting standards and a new IAASB standard for sustainability assurance will affect accounting businesses of all sizes, and their clients. Those in the know will understand these standards to differentiate themselves.
There are numerous assurance standards for specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. They cover such topics as greenhouse gas emissions and electricity usage, offering highly specific measurement and evidence factors around each. These specialised standards are typically delivered by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
More recently though, there has been a call for a general-purpose, global standard specifically for sustainability assurance, dealing less with specific topic areas and more with the verification processes around the information entities report externally about any sustainability-related matter.
That is now becoming a reality, in the form of an international standard developed by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).
On 2 August 2023, the proposed, landmark International Standard on Sustainability Assurance (ISSA) 5000, General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements, will be released for public consultation. The IAASB has published a short explainer video, and requests feedback on the proposed standard before 1 December 2023.
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