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Shailesh Haribhakti

The author is a Chartered and Cost Accountant, an Internal Auditor and a Certified Financial Planner & Fraud Examiner. He is a well-known thought leader on the Indian Economy and Public Policy. He is a Board Chairman, Audit Committee Chair and Independent Director at some of the country's most preeminent organizations.

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Sustainability And Converging Digital Technologies Will Drive The Future Of CAs

The most exciting feature of this emerging need is that it will enable the creation of multiple Unicorns and exponential organisations

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

This week in London, some of us will be witnesses to history being created. The first two Sustainability standards - S1andS2 will be unveiled to the world. This is a massive consolidation and a new direction for Reporting. Integrated Reporting and SASB are effectively merged into the International Sustainability Standards Board under the IFRS Foundation. Scope 3 evaluation and reporting for all entities is being positioned as essential for meeting acceptable Net Zero commitments. If this is not done, eligibility for Carbon Credits will come into question. The workload for Sustainability professionals, including CAs, will explode globally! Digital platforms like Goveva will become very crucial in this context.

Also new to the world is the emergence of a ‘Living Book’ : EXO 2. Ray K is a chat bot integrated into the book which will have chat GPT capabilities built into the book. The integration of an Exponential technologies convergence-driven growth with Sustainability intertwined are visible. The world will start seeing an explosion of innovation, rapidly growing startups and a swift creation of Unicorns! 

Equally significant is the implosions that are occurring in Decacorns. The root causes may well be traced to the non-deployment of high-quality Governance in unlisted startups. Fortunately, the Companies Act 2013 and regulatory requirements are moving rapidly in constituting well-balanced and diversified Boards. Hopefully, this will arrest some of the large surprises that we have seen recently.

Increasingly, technology and digital technologies are being deployed to strengthen Board processes. I sincerely hope these trends accelerate. 

While India is learning rapidly how to create trillion-dollar increments to her GDP, the need for better and higher quality Governance is being felt. The entire Board Stewardship opportunity is extending marvelously. Many new Independent Directors are being minted and osmosis is increasing the learning’s absorption. 

Chartered Accountants and auditors, along with consultants, will have a great opportunity to show their expertise. New skills will need to be learned and deployed at scale. The most exciting feature of this emerging need is that it will enable the creation of multiple Unicorns and Exponential organisations! That is the path to follow. Let July 1 2023 be a watershed in the VA profession’s journey.

The author is Chairman, Shailesh Haribhakti Associates