CPA Australia hopes sustainability reporting could help attract
more young people to the accounting profession, providing one
solution to the ongoing skills shortage.

The institute’s president, Alex Malley, said current
environmental issues provide a “great chance to bring some very
different thinkers to the table”.

“I think sometimes the accounting profession needs to talk about
things more broadly, it has traditionally been a repressed
profession and I think we have got an opportunity to open the
windows and bring some change,” he told The
Accountant
.

“Environmental reporting and sustainability opens the door to
the profession to a whole new way of thinking. It may encourage
kids who have never thought about accounting. We have a skills
shortage and I think we need to tap different talents.”

Malley said the growing sustainability reporting phenomenon
presents a huge opportunity.

“You can’t leave environmental reporting and sustainability in
the political arena only, you need some credibility in how you are
going to measure it, how you are going to capture the information,”
he said. “You need some imagination on who you are bringing to the
table on this; you need to change the perception of the profession
to a broader market.”

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By GlobalData

Critical need for standards

The Australian government plans to implement an emissions
trading scheme by 2010 and the nation’s Financial Reporting Council
discussed the “critical need” for developing a compatible
accounting standard at its June meeting.

The council determined an international standard on emissions
trading is unlikely to be ready in time for the beginning of the
Australian government scheme and Australia should move ahead with
developing a standard of its own.

It was decided the Australian Accounting Standards Board, in
consultation with the Treasury, will develop a paper canvassing
alternative options for developing a standard in the Australian
context.