Accountants Urged to Look Beyond Financials

Did you see the 11/11/10 article on WebCPA titled Accountants Urged to Look Beyond Financials?  I did and I'm going to bluntly say I didn't like it.

Read this key paragraph:

“Going forward, the profession is certain to continue to evolve,” said Ball. “For example, integrated reporting—which encompasses an organization’s economic, social, and environmental results—will become the norm, and the profession will play a key role in providing assurance on non-financial results, as well as embedding these results into strategy and performance management. As we lead this transformation, we will need to enhance our collective skills and competencies. We expect these changes will increase the profile of the profession and help us continue to attract the best and brightest.”

My first question:  Are clients actually going to be willing to pay for this?  Standard setters keep adding more and more to what we have to do to comply with standards.  Clients don't buy the argument "well we have all of this additional work to do comply with standards so the cost is going up this year."  All other things being equal, like revenues are pretty much the same and assets are about the same, why should they pay agree to pay more just because we have more work to do?

My second question:  Can we actually do this?  I for one would need a lot of training to being to report on "strategy and performance management."

Or is this just part of having IFRS inevitably shoved down on us?

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Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies. Joel writes observations on different matters and especially on working with and using LinkedIn. He thinks he has a sense of humor.

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