Tell us about your role at Bentleys?
I manage the team that is responsible for auditing the financial reports of companies, not for profits and self-managed superannuation funds to ensure they comply with relevant laws and regulations. Basically the day to day role is trying to make the client, staff and audit partner happy.
You have provided really useful feedback throughout the first assessment prepared by your firm, how do you think about auditors and their role in the future of carbon accounting?
Entities are beginning to disclose their carbon emissions (amongst other ESG issues) and I expect auditors will be increasingly asked to verify this information. This will give end users some comfort that the information is credible. It will be interesting to see how it pans out as the frameworks for measuring are still in the formative stages. I think for the next couple of years auditors will be asked to make judgment calls about issues where there is no regulatory guidance. An auditor’s formal training, ethics, skills and experience are going to help them with this.
Bentleys really pushed to be leaders in carbon accounting, and you were asked to lead the pack, how did you think it would go at the start and how has that evolved as you went through the course, attended training and completed the first assessment?
Accounting for Carbon Emissions has been around for several years. There has been interest and then it has faded away so I was sceptical about how far it would progress. I’ve been surprised at the momentum building up in this area. I think a threshold has been reached and it is now a viable area to pursue and not just something that is only for very large companies. Going through the course I have noticed there has been a lot of cross over in the skills used in financial audit to Carbon assessment but there has also been a lot of new things to think about and questions to ask.
Some of those questions haven’t had ready answers, so talking through them with Sumday, clients and the rest of the Bentleys team has been a great experience. I am really looking forward to be part of the Bentleys team helping entities in this area.
How did you find the Sumday learning course?
The Sumday course was a great introduction to what is going on. I liked how I could fit in the online lessons during breaks in my day. The format of video introduction and then notes and further readings to work through worked well for me.
What would you say to other auditors who are getting involved in carbon accounting?
Accountants / auditors are the go to people when clients are asked for any information regarding their entities activities by regulators, consumers or suppliers. When a client asks about carbon accounting, being able to say that “I can help with that” is going to be a great comfort. The challenge will be one of resources. Do you need extra resources to pursue it and can you source them, reallocate resources from another area or do you develop a relationship with a provider?
How have you found the advisor support team at Sumday?
Enthusiastic, approachable and generous, their willingness to share their time to work through the course and complete assessments has been appreciated.