Holistic measurements help business leaders to make better decisions in product development and innovation, Stephanie Hime, KPMG sustainability service manager, told The Accountant , on the back of the World Forum on Natural Capital, recently held in Edinburgh.

The "true value" of a product or programme can be discovered through natural or social capital accounting, but this atypical service must be considered in a truly professional context with the appropriate "caveats" in place, Hime warned.

"From a management accounting perspective, this is about looking at the environmental and social impacts associated with a particular decision", Hime explained.

"Questions such as "what’s the value to you" or "can you put a number on it" starts to enable firms to achieve a true sense of how much a given product, programme, or resource means", Hime said.

"Client’s sometimes want to alter their business model, so they ask for a different type of information to reach that goal."

But Hime warns that not all resources, whether they are inanimate or not, should be monetised: "Everyone assumes that by placing a monetary value on items its true value will be captured. There isn’t someone that can tell you the right value in every context, because values are different. "

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

Read the full Q&A with Stephanie Hime: The heuristics of social and natural accounting