The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.
Our goal is to be a sustainable organisation and, through our members and our own work, to help other organisations be sustainable too. With over 570,000 members and students, ACCA seeks to use its strong market position to achieve a positive “sustainability benefit”. Arguably, our biggest contribution to a long-term improvement in organisational sustainability and responsibility will come – not just through reductions in our own direct impacts (though that is obviously one of our long-term goals) – but also through greater engagement with our members and students in respect of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues.
Sustainability and CSR issues are embedded in our syllabi and feature more and more regularly in our CPD programmes. We have a strong research programme linked to sustainability/CSR issues and we work closely with a range of sustainability/CSR (and increasingly carbon) organisations to move the debate up the professional, political and policy ladders.
When it comes to leading the profession, ACCA has embedded sustainability into the syllabus of the ACCA Qualification, resulting in a greater emphasis on social and environmental responsibilities and the importance of ethical and professional conduct by accountants.
We also work to raise awareness of sustainability issues amongst our members by holding events as part of our continuing professional development offering. Similarly, we work on a global basis to raise the issue of sustainability with the wider public through publication of reports, research and our sustainability reporting awards held in a wide range of countries.
On a strategic level, we actively participate in HRH The Prince of Wales’s Supervisory Board of the Accounting for Sustainability initiative and the working group of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) which is making significant progress towards developing a globally accepted integrated reporting framework.
We are not complacent about our achievements to date or about the work we have to do, in particular to embed sustainability into our strategy. But we are clear that our greatest contribution to making tangible progress will be through harnessing the influence and energy of our stakeholders and the organisations in which they work.