JICPA releases "Discussion Paper - Integrating Sustainability into Professional Accountants' Competency -"
Recognizing the need for professional accountants to develop skills and competencies in sustainability, the JICPA has comprehensively discussed sustainability education for professional accountants and now published "Discussion Paper - Integrating Sustainability into Professional Accountants' Competency -".
Through the review and based on the primary reasons why knowledge and understanding of sustainability is required of professional accountants, we identified five capabilities that professional accountants should have concerning sustainability as follows:
- （i）See the big picture of various sustainability issues and their social and economic impacts based on an integrated knowledge base.
- （ii）Understand the basic framework of the relationship between sustainability and corporate management as well as corporate value.
- （iii）Engage in intensive and constructive dialogue with management, directors, and investors regarding key sustainability trends and their impact on the industries and companies.
- （iv）Have the necessary knowledge and understanding of requirements for sustainability-related disclosure (e.g., regulations and standards).
- （v）Understand the purpose and basic framework of assurance engagements.
In addition, we have identified four areas that particularly require skills and competencies in sustainability: (i) discussions with management, non-executive directors, audit committee members, and others, (ii) considerations during audit risk assessment and key audit matters (KAMs), (iii) involvement in "Other Information," and (iv) interaction with assurance engagements for information other than financial statements and responses to assurance engagements needs.
Based on the need for sustainability education and the skills and competencies in sustainability required of professional accountants, we summarized the objectives and basic policies for sustainability education for them. In particular, we set the three basic policies on sustainability education:（i）predict change trends to support autonomous learning of professional accountants,（ii）share fundamental sustainability knowledge and understanding, and acquire diverse expertise as a professional simultaneously,（iii）collaborate and coordinate with initiatives related to sustainability education in Japan and overseas.
Going forward, as a hub for sustainability education for professional accountants, we are committed to developing a syllabus of our own and establishing a platform to enhance the level of their knowledge and understanding of sustainability.