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Last updated: 20 Apr 2023 02:00 Posted in: AIA

As a member of The European Federation of Accountants and Auditors (EFAA), AIA works with other professional bodies across Europe to provide guidance and support to SMPS and SMEs.

The EFAA has recently published new guidance for SMPs on sustainability reporting: ‘Sustainability Reporting Assurance: How SMPs Can Build the Capacity to Support SMEs’. This publication follows 'Guidance Sustainability Reporting: How SMPs Can Build the Capacity to Support SMEs' published in December 2022.

The new guidance offers suggestions on how SMPs can best respond to the rapid emergence of sustainability reporting. It explains how the landscape is fast evolving and how significant new reporting requirements, and the limited time to get ready for them, demand that SMPs and SMEs prepare now for their implementation. It also includes useful tips on how SMPs can get ready to prepare sustainability reports for their SME clients.

SMPs can support the creation of a sustainable EU economy in the following ways:

  • Advise on Sustainable Business Practices – SMPs can encourage and advise their clients on how they can adopt sustainable business practices and improve their sustainability performance. This advice may include how to reduce carbon footprint and how to comply with health, safety, and environmental regulation. If they are to provide such advice to clients, then SMPs themselves need to ‘practice what they preach’ by adopting such practices themselves.
  • Adopt Sustainable Business Practices – SMPs themselves have a responsibility to change their way of working so that they become more sustainable. Hence, they need to embrace sustainable business practices. Such practices include reducing their carbon footprint and providing a safe and inclusive place to work. Digital technologies can help, for example, remote working can reduce carbon emissions.
  • Prepare Sustainability Reports – SMPs have traditionally prepared the financial information and reports, both for management and external reporting purposes, for clients that lack the in-house expertise or capacity to do so themselves. Going forward, SMPs can expect increasing numbers of clients to ask them to also prepare sustainability information and reports.
  • Provide Assurance on Sustainability Information – SMPs sometimes provide audit and other forms of assurance on financial information and reports of clients. Going forward, SMPs can expect an increasing number of clients to seek assurance on their sustainability information and reports.


AIA’s Chief Executive, Philip Turnbull commented, “The new guidance has significant value for accounting practices that want to stay up to date with sustainability reporting assurance. We welcome this publication as a tool and encourage our practicing members to utilise it”.

"We welcome this publication as a tool and encourage our practicing members to utilise it"
Philip Turnbull, AIA Chief Executive.