Sustainability-Related Information Enables Better Business For SMEs States New Guide From ACCA

New guide from ACCA

Creating and using sustainability-related information supports SMEs to survive and thrive through better business. Professional accountants are integral to helping SMEs access the enablers of this better business.

MUMBAI: A new guide from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) recognizes the vital role SMEs play in the value chains of all organizations globally. Entitled ‘Sustainability reporting – SME guide’, it supports them in creating the sustainability-related information that regulators and stakeholders increasingly demand.

Sundeep Jakahar, head of public affairs – India at ACCA said: “In India, where SMEs constitute a significant portion of the business landscape, the adoption of sustainability practices is crucial. SMEs in India face unique challenges such as limited access to resources and capital. However, sustainability reporting can unlock numerous benefits for them, including access to new markets and better financing opportunities. For Indian SMEs, this could mean improved competitiveness on a global scale, aligning with international standards and expectations.”

Report co-author Sharon Machado, head of sustainable business at ACCA commented: “The creation and use of sustainability-related information helps SMEs, their advisers and stakeholders to see and take advantage of their opportunities and manage their risks. This will put SMEs in a much stronger position financially – making it easier to attract investment and obtain preferential terms of trade with suppliers. In the battle for talent, it will help them recruit and retain high-caliber employees.”

As the demand for sustainability-related information increases, all organizations must be ready to provide information related to their approach and progress in managing sustainability-related risks and opportunities. This demand extends beyond the organization to its value chain and comes from regulators, investors, and many other stakeholders. SMEs are in scope because they comprise 90% of all organizations globally, and so is an essential part of the value chain.

The enablers to better business that result from communicating and using sustainability-related information may help SMEs gain new competitive advantage.

Report co-author Aaron Saw, head of corporate reporting insights – financial at ACCA, said: “Although SMEs may consider these demands challenging, especially at times of significant financial pressure, evidence suggests the effort is justified. Therefore, we encourage all SMEs to take small first steps and do what’s possible in communicating sustainability-related information with a view of becoming better businesses.”

The guide is the latest installment in a series of sustainability reporting guides from ACCA. Read the guide here and visit our sustainability reporting hub here.


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