Jeremy Nicholls:
Handling Risk and Uncertainty in Financial Accounting and Implications for Sustainability Approaches

Financial accounting and assurance recognise risk and uncertainty in providing information that informs investment decisions and have established approaches to handling this information. As issues around sustainability, climate change and inequality become increasingly critical, enterprises are providing more information on sustainability topics and making decisions informed by the impacts on people’s lives that result from those decisions. This raises the issue of uncertainty in the information relating to those impacts and determining an acceptable level of risk in making decisions to increase positive impacts. The aim of this talk is to set out these issues as they are currently being considered in financial and sustainability reporting.

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Jeremy Nicholls is the Assurance Framework lead for the UNDP SDG Impact Standards and is an ambassador for the Capitals Coalition (a global collaboration to integrate sustainability into business decision making) working on the interface between financial and sustainability accounting. He represents SVI on ISO technical committees including chairing the project team for ISO 37005, selecting, creating and using indicators for governing bodies. He is also a non executive director of the FRC Group, a social enterprise in Liverpool. He contributes regularly to Pioneers Post on why financial accounting needs to change. He originally qualified as a chartered accountant, including time as the Finance Director for Tanzania Railways. After spending four years as a house parent he became involved in social enterprise, sustainability and regeneration, and was one of the founders and then CEO of Social Value International.