This month’s feature interview is with Michael Schlombs FCCA, head of finance in Deutsche Telekom’s business-to-business unit. He sees his work as helping to drive the business, playing the role of a ‘co-pilot’. And he is not only a fully qualified professional accountant; he is also a major in the Landeskommando Niedersachse, a branch of the German armed forces that liaises with civilian authorities during times of crisis.

Talking of (climate) crises, the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) has kicked off in earnest, with the deadline for the first quarterly report being 31 January. But evidence, anecdotally at least, suggests that businesses – as well as the EU – are not fully prepared. This shines a light on both the complexities facing importers and exporters, and underlines the pace at which the EU wants to get its new tax up and running.

And maintaining the ESG theme, please take time to read about how firms are set to clean up greenwashing. As regulators take a stricter line on exaggerated eco-claims, accountants can play a key role in protecting companies in Europe and elsewhere.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper start to the new year without scanning the horizon for potential threats, opportunities and trends. Our look ahead for 2024 identifies reasons to be optimistic among the alarming events playing out in global geopolitics. Read about positive developments in the technology space and in sustainability endeavours, among warnings around the global economy.

Meanwhile, we report on how hiring appears to be returning to ‘normal’ for accounting professionals as salary growth slows in Europe and the US, even though talent shortages remain amid growing demand for new technology skills.

This year sees the Olympic and Paralympic Games land in Paris. Find out how the Big Four are involved in helping the events run smoothly.

Finally, if your resolution is to be better informed, not only is AB here to help, but our weekly bulletin AB Direct provides headlines from international media stories of relevance to finance professionals, as well as highlights of recently published AB features. Find out more.

Further information

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