Members-only: Reduced price of the IFRS Foundation FSA Credential
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Members-only: Reduced price of the IFRS Foundation FSA Credential

Mar 15, 2023 · 3 min read · AICPA Insights Blog

Investors increasingly demand high-quality, transparent and reliable reports on a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives and metrics. Sustainability accounting and disclosures meet this demand.

Sustainability accounting considers an organization’s cross-disciplinary practices to measure, analyze and report on the sustainability factors that affect its prospects, position and performance.

With a goal of achieving a comprehensive global baseline of comparable and consistent sustainability-related disclosures, the IFRS® Foundation established the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The ISSB operates as a sister board to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB®), whose International Accounting Standards are required for use by more than 140 jurisdictions.

The ISSB is articulating the requirements for reporting sustainability-related governance, risks and opportunities, and metrics and targets, and is developing standards that will result in a high-quality, comprehensive global baseline for sustainability disclosures. The industry-based elements of the exposure drafts of S1 and S2 are derived from the 77 SASB standards, which form the bedrock of the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential®.

We are delighted to announce that we are working with the IFRS Foundation to provide an opportunity for you to enhance your professional expertise in sustainability accounting through the FSA® Credential. Members are eligible for a total of $200 off the normal price of an FSA Credential registration and can earn up to 27.5 continuing professional education (CPE) credits.

“The importance of sustainability information to decision-making and resource allocation is becoming increasingly apparent. As an organization, we are fully committed to doing our part to contribute to the development of standards and regulation that serves the public interest and to educate and support our members, their organizations, and their clients across the globe. The IFRS Foundation has been at the forefront of this shift,” said Jeremy Osborn, Ph.D., FCMA, CGMA, CPA (Australia), Global Head of ESG at AICPA® & CIMA®, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

The FSA Credential will help you understand international sustainability disclosure standards.

The FSA Credential, created by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and now part of the IFRS Foundation’s offerings, equips professionals with skills that have become critical as investors and other stakeholders demand more transparency and accountability around sustainability and ESG. And investors’ focus is not insignificant — the incremental investments required to transition the global economy to net zero by 2050 are estimated to be $50 trillion. The curriculum of the FSA Credential goes far beyond the standards themselves. Accounting and finance professionals who pass the FSA Credential exams have demonstrated:

  • Knowledge of how companies produce, and investors evaluate, financially-material sustainability information

  • Proficiency in identifying the sustainability issues relevant to companies’ financial performance

  • Ability to analyze company sustainability performance and its effects on revenues and expenses, assets and liabilities, and the cost of capital

A suite of ESG learning solutions

AICPA & CIMA Fundamentals of ESG Certificate is available if you’d like an introduction to ESG, the increasing demand for sustainability information from businesses, and the key role of accounting and finance professionals in creating, managing, and assuring this information. While the Fundamentals of ESG Certificate is an overview of the ESG landscape, the FSA Credential is an in-depth exploration and includes how to report ESG efforts publicly.

In addition to the FSA Credential and the Fundamentals of ESG Certificate, the University of Oxford and AICPA & CIMA executive management program in sustainable business — established in partnership with the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School — leads to a certificate on completion of the program issued in the name of both organizations. The executive management program will be available later in 2023, and completion of the program will highlight your ability to apply sustainability skills and insights to strategic decisions that directly influence business operations and long-term value creation.

The FSA Credential is a highly regarded credential.

Earning the FSA Credential demonstrates expertise in ESG factors, allowing you to inform corporate strategies and investor decisions in a standardized approach.

“The imperative for accountants to embrace sustainability accounting and reporting grows ever more urgent as industries, and entire economies accelerate the movement towards net zero. The FSA Credential provides a golden passport into this new and exciting business area, helping accountants future-proof their careers,” Osborn stated.

Completing the FSA Credential exhibits professional competence, an informed understanding of financially relevant sustainability factors and how these factors may influence resource allocation and investment decision-making.

“Since the FSA Credential launched in 2015, thousands of professionals have signed up to verify their mastery of the link between sustainability information and a company’s ability to drive corporate value,” said Nicolai Lundy, Chief of Market Relationships at the IFRS Foundation. “Support of the FSA Credential from AICPA & CIMA underscores the growing importance of accountants becoming astute in connecting businesses and investors on the financial impacts of sustainability issues. We are glad to work with AICPA & CIMA as an organization leading the way to make this professional development opportunity even more accessible to accounting and finance professionals.”

If you are interested in sustainability accounting, now is a great time to take advantage of the members-only discount and earn the IFRS FSA Credential.

Ashlin Minogue, M.A.

Ashlin Minogue is a senior content writer at AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

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