Keith Nuthall is a journalist specialising in international organisations, law and regulation


The US’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released its long-awaited rule on enhancing and standardising climate-related disclosures by companies listed in the US and those undergoing public offerings. The rule largely follows single materiality principles of measuring the impact of climate change on reporters, with filers having to report climate-related risks reasonably likely to have a material impact on business strategy, model, operations and finances. They will also have to report their activities mitigating against these risks, including their cost. In addition, filers will need to report how they have assessed their climate risk and whether these methods are integrated into general risk management.

Meanwhile, certain companies – called ‘large accelerated filers’ and ‘accelerated filers’ (with a public float exceeding US$700m and US$75m-700m respectively) – will have to report double materiality data about their scope 1 direct greenhouse gas emissions and scope 2 energy purchase indirect emissions.

The European Financial Reporting Action Group has signed a memorandum of understanding on developing synergies regarding sustainability reporting with standards bodies CEN (the European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization). They will ‘work together to contribute to ensure maximum consistency and coherence in the implementation of EU sustainability reporting legislation’.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has appointed a textiles and apparel working group, including business, labour, investor and civil society representatives, to help develop a new GRI standard to address the impacts of the sector.


The SEC has amended disclosure rules about order executions for stocks listed on national US securities exchanges. The new requirements add broker-dealers with a certain number of customer accounts and single-dealer platforms to entities making monthly execution quality reports. These declarations will include certain orders submitted outside of regular trading hours, with stop prices and certain short-sale orders.


The International Foundation for Ethics and Audit (IFEA) has been launched, which will incorporate the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. The boards will move to IFEA from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), from which the foundation will be independent. IFAC will still appoint IFEA board members, as will the Public Interest Oversight Board.

Business combinations

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published proposals to enhance information companies provide to investors about acquisitions. These include amendments to IFRS 3, Business Combinations, requiring companies to report objectives and related performance targets of their most important acquisitions. Companies would also declare expected synergies of acquisitions. Information that could compromise reporters’ acquisition objectives could be withheld, however. The IASB is also proposing targeted impairment test improvements to IAS 36, Impairment of Assets.


An IASB survey has concluded that companies generally have a firm understanding of the concept of ‘materiality’ for their IFRS reports, so that accounts declarations include information reasonably expected to influence an investor’s decisions.

Accounting research

ACCA and the International Association for Accounting Education and Research have launched an Early Career Researcher Development Program. Fifteen associate and assistant professors from Croatia, the Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Turkey will participate over at least two years, staging at least two workshops annually.

More information

Visit ACCA’s Accounting for a better world hub for articles and resources on sustainable business, and read ACCA’s guide to preparing for sustainability reporting.