• SKILL LEVEL:
  • Proficient

ESG reporting associate

Job profile:

Audit and assurance

Career zone:

The assurance provider


Area of expertise
 

Audit and assurance

What is an ESG reporting associate and what do they do?
 

This is a specialised branch of external audit, whereby assurance is provided over the sustainability/ESG (environmental, social and governance) reports produced by the organisation.

This requires knowledge of the key (non-financial) reporting frameworks, such as GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures), CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), GHG (Greenhouse Gas Protocol), as well as experience of undertaking audits in line with ISAE 3000 and  ISAE 3410 (International Standards on Assurance Engagements).

The associate will work in a team, to provide assurance on the information provided in the ESG report of the organisation's financial statements. Their work will be monitored and reviewed by the manager, but they will work as part of the wider team.


Key responsibilities
 

Responsibilities will vary, but examples include: 

 

  • review of assurance information and assessing it for areas of risk and ensuring the quality of the supporting data to provide sufficient and appropriate evidence.
  • managing staff, including junior members of the team and acting as the main point of contact between the client and the assurance firm
  • undertaking robust testing on data, and analysing results, discussing anomalies with other team members and developing solutions with the manager/team as required.

Why are they important?

 

Increasingly, global governments are requiring the larger companies to report on 'non-financial data' in their annual reports. In some territories, carbon reporting is a legal requirement. For example, the UK, EU, Japan, North America and Australia all require Mandatory Green Gas reporting (GHG).

An increasing number of territories have national carbon pricing ('carbon tax'), such as Canada, Chile, the EU and UK, and New Zealand. Therefore, it is essential that the reporting is accurate as financials will be directly impacted.

In the UK, all premium-listed companies are required to state in their annual report whether their disclosures are consistent with TCFD recommendations. The US requires certain public companies to disclose certain ESG information, and the EU is proposing further requirements with its proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which will require 'limited assurance' by an external party. This is a role and a requirement that will continue to develop over the next few years.


Person specification
 

An accountant in training (or recently qualified) with an interest in sustainability and environmental issues. Ability to demonstrate excellent numerical skills (in analysis) and strong technical reporting skills (such as preparing strategic, analytical and statutory reports to internal and external stakeholders). As this is an area which is developing rapidly, the drive to keep up to date with technical developments (both in sustainable reporting and accounting and auditing requirements).

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