Climate Change Requires Accountants to Rethink Risk Management, New Report from ACCA Explores

—Insights from Risk Managers Across ACCA’s Global Network Highlight Unique Role of Accountants in the Face of Climate Risk, While Calling for More Collaboration and Collective Action —

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

TORONTO and LONDON, July 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) published a new report, “Rethinking Risk for the Future,” examining the unique role of the accounting profession in effective risk management amid crises presented by climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and resulting economic turbulence.

ACCA asserts that as guardians of information, accountants can help organizations not only detect and better understand the emerging risks and opportunities facing them, but also cultivate the mindsets needed to think more long-term. Capturing the views of ACCA’s global members, the report showcases their vital roles in building organizational resilience through Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), financial reporting, and data analysis.

You can read ACCA’s latest report, “Rethinking Risk for the Future” here or at

The report explains that while COVID-19 is the biggest crisis in a generation, business and society also face huge risks from rapid climate change – perhaps the biggest risk of all. Risk management has therefore been forced center stage like never before. Accountants now have an unmissable opportunity to reassess how they can add more value in a post-Covid world where myriad environmental, social and economic risks are prevalent.

“What’s clear from the roundtables we held with ACCA members is the need for accountants to truly understand the strategic and business risks that their organizations face in the short, medium and long term,” said Rachael Johnson, report author and ACCA’s Head of Risk Management and Corporate Governance. “In this way, they can help maintain operational resilience in today’s fast-changing, interconnected environment.”

Capturing the views of its global members, the report reveals their concerns about industry disruption being the biggest risk to organizations over the next two years, followed by international trade, cyber threats and extreme weather.

“This year, the pandemic required us all to learn new and vital lessons about effective risk management, and disruption preparedness is now top of organizations' priority list,” said Jillian Couse, Head of ACCA North America. “The challenge is now about how this readiness is sustained by organizations in the face of other crises, including climate change, creating an opportunity for the accounting profession to show its value in rethinking risk.”

The report highlights a range of organizations that have fully embraced purpose-led risk management, including Calgary Parking Authority, which has invested in making its parking infrastructure adaptable and multifunctional to the benefit of the organization’s bottom line, while also creating needed community resources in the form of public recreation space.

“Becoming a sustainable, purpose-led business is a journey that requires vision and integrated thinking—you cannot go from step 1 to step 10 overnight,” said Shahid Qureshi, Chairman, Board of Directors at Calgary Parking Authority and member of ACCA’s Global Forum for Governance, Risk and Performance. “You have to think it through, and that starts with finding the right balance for all of your stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, the local community and your shareholders.”

Rethinking Risk for the Future concludes that risk can no longer be managed in isolation. Accountants, given their skills and professional duties, are in a privileged position to optimize their storytelling skills in new ways by creating more dynamic metrics and reporting methodologies.

ACCA believes accountants should be taking on a more advisory role in explaining the facts and possibilities behind the numbers, breaking them down and putting them into context for their organizations. The current environment creates an opportunity for accountancy to encourage more collaboration and collective action on environmental, social and governance matters by working with public policymakers and partnering with leaders to help grasp how digitalization and new technologies can help avoid harm to people and the planet.

About ACCA: ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.

We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business and digital expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organizations and flourishing societies.

Since 1904, being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital in helping economies, organizations and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organizations are managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities.

And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organization. Find out more at

ACCA is not affiliated with any Chartered Accountant (CA) organization or Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) organization.

Contact: Jeff Simmons,