New Report Shows Strong Level of Involvement by Finance Professionals in ESG Reporting Efforts

Staff Report

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

As the environmental, social and governance (ESG) landscape rapidly evolves, financial professional involvement will likely play a key role in the next phase of the ESG reporting process, according to How finance professionals are helping to advance ESG reporting. This new report was completed jointly by Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) and the  Financial Education & Research Foundation (FERF) — the independent nonprofit research affiliate of Financial Executives International (FEI).

The findings are based on a survey distributed to finance professionals from US-headquartered publicly traded companies. In total, 72 chief accounting officers and controllers from some of the largest US companies responded to the survey.

The report reflects how finance professionals are being relied upon to support and reinforce ESG reporting efforts as demand from regulatory bodies, investors and other stakeholders increases. In fact, finance professionals report strong levels of involvement, and while just 7% of chief accounting officers (CAOs) and 3% of chief financial officers (CFOs) "own" the ESG reporting process, more than 60% of respondents indicated that the CAO, CFO, head of Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, head of internal audit and audit committees are either highly or moderately involved with ESG reporting efforts.

In addition to survey data, the report includes perspectives drawn from interviews with financial executives from eight public companies.