This essay delves into the evolving role of audit engagements in assuring sustainability reports. While traditional and contemporary auditing focus primarily on evaluating financial data and governance structures to foster investors’ trust and ensure financial market stability, the recent push for sustainability assurance stretches the auditors’ role much further, requiring them to guide numerous stakeholders in navigating long-term (climate) risks and opportunities. We identify three pitfalls and overpromises in applying contemporary auditing principles to provide sustainability assurance: the feasibility of existing methodologies, the tension between social aspirations and economic realities, and the illusion of pseudo-assurance. These findings offer guidance to auditors and underscore the further need to revisit the paradigmatic foundation of auditing.
- 512 Business and Management