Sustainability Reporting: An Accountant's Perspective
Journal of Management and Sustainability
sustainability; sustainability reporting; corporate responsibility
Accounting | Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics
The current state of sustainability reporting lacks useful information for decision-making. Specifically, this paper examines the sustainability report of a major multinational organization from the perspective of accounting and the qualities of information as defined by the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Global Reporting Initiative. Fifty-eight graduate accounting students were assigned an exercise that involved analyzing Wal-Mart’s 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility report within the context of the GRI’s Principles of Quality Reporting. The results indicated that the Report failed to provide useful information for stakeholders and was more of an instrument of public relations. While the Report failed to meet many of the GRI’s Principles, the students believed the most serious flaw was the absence of cost and segment information. Without mandates the only viable mechanism to improve sustainability reports is for GRI to certify those reports that strictly adhere to the Principles of Quality Reporting.
Moore, W.B. & Poznanski, P.J. (2015). Sustainability reporting: An accountant's perspective. Journal of Management and Sustainability, 5(2), 92-96. doi:10.5539/jms.v5n2p92
This article was originally published in the Journal of Management and Sustainability. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jms.v5n2p92