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Sustainability of corporate reporting is crucial for the provision of vital information to potential investors. It focuses on the insight of the sustainability issues that faces a company, and the strategic approaches to the mitigation of environmental and social risks, with the aim of taking advantages of available opportunities.
The Japanese corporate financial, reporting has rapidly grown after World War II, due to the enhancement of the security exchange act of 1948 which requires public corporations to disclose their financial statements which must be audited by independent certified accountants. Keirishi were the only public accountants at the time that were dealing with tax practices of small firms without auditing, leading to the demand of CPAs who were availed rapidly. The existence of examination systems in the US and Australia that were done by accountants and financial organizations led the Japanese government to find its own system, thus the emergence of CPA.
The creation of an investigation committee, currently the deliberation council in 1947 to probe on business accounting systems released guidelines for accounting principles and the rules to follow when preparing financial statements. The Germans legal system that Japan followed seemed to be influencing them to Germans commercial codes, even though it had authorized the orders promulgation to financial statements form. These financial statements that were submitted were not enhanced because they were simple.
Inflation which is the persistence rise in the price of commodities measured in money value and annualized in the broad index of money price, do vary year to year and countries. Many countries had experienced hyperinflation in 1950s with inflation rising to 50% with Japan experiencing negative inflation of 1% per year.
The intention of corporate sustainability is for it to cover and serve a wide diversity of stakeholders which consists of investors, confined communities, customers and employees. This is because the general contents and production of information to stakeholders is not functional incorporations. The aspect of Asian reporting has been focused on the importance of social and community issues which are linked to the company susceptibility to have primary attention on the risk management spotlight of stakeholders. The corporate Register study of 2007 reported that there is a distinct fulfillment oriented health, environment and safety (EHS), and community and social reporting being the leading mode of Asian reporting. The ideal sustainability reporting intended for investors, must hold the elements of time horizon with meaningful data comparable to the wide sector, explaining in financial terms issues of the past and current business performance, and information of the processes that identify and manage risks. Disclosures that have these elements do provide investors with the reality of the firm’s exposure to the sustainability risks and opportunities that are emerging. The overall quality of management crucial insights are provided through corporate disclosure, as the quality of sustainability issues of public disclosure are viewed by investors to be proxy due to the degree of transparency, shareholders rights and the overall quality of management of the company. The standard qualities of sustainability reporting of most companies in the emerging markets are short of these ideals, due to lack of transparency which is the main obstacle when incorporating the environmental, social and governance (ESG) principle in investment decisions. The sustainability issues are not well examined as they are part of decision making of an investment, though their importance is increasing. There is the evolving of investors’ knowledge of incorporating environmental and social factors, which are influencing investment decision making to have high quality sustainability reporting.
The provision of information on the aggregate level of sustainability performance is high than in the emerging markets as the study of corporate sustainability disclosure by KPMG provided data that demonstrated the evolution in developed countries. It was found that 52% of global companies provide separate corporate responsibility report, while 68% provided sustainability reporting of their corporate. The study indicated that that the repotting evolution was purely environmental to true sustainability that incorporated the social, economic and environmental. They encourage companies to report on environmental and social issues influencing the quality of the disclosed information. The inclusion of incentives does not guarantee the sustainability information that is disclosed in the report that meets the needs of the investor, as they have to enquire their information needs that encourage companies to disclose them in their reports. There is subjection of pressure by stakeholder outside the borders from companies of the six focus countries. The head quarters of multinational companies have the tendency of imposing requirements of subsidiaries to comply with the sustainability reporting norms. The companies are also pressured to comply with the environmental and social performance for them to access certain markets. They also enquire sustainability information to companies that they intend to invest, and the desire to invest in international stock markets does have an impact in relation at the sustainability disclosures.
The US securities and Exchange Commission are the leaders in developing of sets of core accounting standards that serve as the framework across borders of financial reporting. T5his is due to the cost that is incurred by issuers that raise capital in different counties in compliance and the ineffectiveness of preparing different sets of financial reporting of the jurisdictions requirements. The international Organization of Securities Commission (IOSC) where SEC is the leading role did recommend that its members to allow the use of the 30 cores standards by the issuers that were issued by the IASB in the cross-borders offerings and listings. The support of SEC to the memorandum of understanding of the Norwalk Agreement, that was between the financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) and the international Accounting Standard Board. The conclusion of these boards was the establishment of a joint committee that was to develop accounting standards that were compatible to be used in both domestic and across borders in financial reporting. A subsequent memorandum of understanding between FASB and IASB saw the development of a common set of high quality global standards which were, to remain to their long-term priority, which would establish the alignment plan of financial reporting of issuers in the US under GAAP and that of companies that use IFRS.
The number of foreign issuers that were filling with the SEC and IFRS between 2005 and 2006 had increased to 110, and this number was expected to increase subsequently. The reaffirming of the SEC commitment to achievement of high quality sets that were globally accepted accounting standards, had opened the possibility of the US accounting of its financial statements using the IFRS and GAAP.
T5he growing interests and acceptance of the global single set of robust accounting standards has come through participation in the capital markets. Many multinational companies and national regulators have been supporting it because they are believed to be using common standards in the preparation of financial statements of the public corporation as they make it easier for the comparison of financial reports of different entities and countries. They do believe that these sets of accounting will help better understanding of opportunities by investors, as large public companies with subsidiaries in multiple jurisdictions are able to use one accounting system together with their competitors. They believe that in the global economy, the financial professionals with the inclusive of CPA will become more mobile, and the companies will be able to easily respond to human capital needs of subsidiaries around the globe.
There is a believe that the US GAAP being a gold standard, but it is seen that it will lose popularity with the acceptance of IFRS, and more unlikely that all the issuers of the US to elect their use. A 2007 survey by Delloite & Touche of companies whose annual revenue from $100 million to $10 billion, it was found that only 20% of these companies could adapt to the IFRS system when given a choice. The US issuers who did not have significant customers and operated outside the US were not having market incentives in the preparation of financial statements that following the IFRS system. There are other issuers that use the financial statements with the basis of filling with other regulators and regulators that require the US GAAP.
There are other global concerns that many countries that they converge to international standards which do not give 100% compliance. Most do set aside, the right to slice out modifying or selectively those standards that are not considered in their national interests, which is UN incompatibility actions that IFRS is seeking to address.
The understanding of the SMEs subject matter, are vital to the success of learning program or development initiatives, but it is also impossible to keep the design and development projects, to be on schedule and budget to get information that is needed. The transferring of SMEs’ information to business as they have special and in-depth knowledge of more businesses. When shared, the critical knowledge significantly elevates an organization’s performance as the learning initiative becomes the conduit of transferring the knowledge.
The path to capture the knowledge of SMEs and to transform it to effective learning programs typically requires significant and highly focused commitment on each part of SME. The prime challenge is having jobs that are beyond their role, and how to manage the development learning efforts and the minimization of their day jobs. The successful creation of 50,000 hours of custom content for customers, the ACS Content Development, had a well defined approach which effectively managed the learning development processes that5 include the leveraging SME knowledge minimizing their time. The extension of the content development tools, processes and techniques of SMEs to some customers, observed SME time could be reduced by 50% over prior experiences.
The SMEs played roles that include;
- The co-development and the provision of critical input and business insight as the objectives take shape and definition of specific performance criteria.
- The provision of accurate current contents source materials when and where they are needed.
- The participation of content interviews and discussions.
- Provision of thorough and thoughtful contents reviews throughout the development.
- Assistance in setting of priorities to most essential knowledge and skills.
- Provision of key content insight of real-life trade tricks which serve as catalysts that address different learning styles and motivation.
Reality checks provision of the learning population characteristics, and activities that resonate well with learners.
The role of professional and accountancy bodies
The rapid growth of the number of organization have started to offer environmental and social services of verification, all having qualifications that are varying. The verification of the environmental reports and their verifier’s qualification do have vital importance as the verifiers need to be accredited. The verifiers must be credible for them to add this credibility to the environment reports. The qualification requirements that do exist is the same in the financial auditing profession which started appearing in the environmental reports of auditors, as it is in the interest of the verifiers and clients to ensure professional standards.
The bodies of professional accounting such as the ACCA and EFFACE have been involved in the creation and the development of guidelines for environmental and social verification.