Assuring the unknowable: a reflection on the evolving landscape of sustainability assurance for financial auditors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101413
Peer-reviewed scientific journalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Volume67
ISSN1877-3435
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 04.2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management

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