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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


SMIT, Anet. Analysing the contributory role of the accounting profession to save our planet. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2020, vol.60, n.3, pp.674-686. ISSN 2224-7912.

Sustainability and sustainable development are often contested concepts associated with a wide range of meanings and theories. Different worldviews by people and organisations influence the different concepts entertained in respect of sustainable development. Furhermore, pursuing sustainable and sustainability concepts is usually in direct conflict with the drive to generate profits. This review article focuses on potential developments and adjustments in the business world to ensure sustainability. With the sustainability concept in mind, the purpose of the article is to explore the role and contribution of the accounting profession with regard to sustainable development. Previous studies indicate that Financial Accounting is prone to standardisation and regulation in accordance with international and local accounting standards and that it is therefore problematical to accommodate sustainability. The next step was to analyse the manner in which the sustainability concepts could be incorporated into Management Accounting. As the measurement and reporting of environmental costs continue to be problematic, a whole new discipline has been developed, namely Environmental Management Accounting. The relationship between monetary information and increased output while simultaneously reducing environmental pollution or natural resource consumption can be expressed in an eco-efficiency ratio or an economic efficiency indicator (EDI). These trends of measuring and analysing require the establishment of new subject disciplines as part of Environmental Management Accounting, including the development of new specialist fields such as Water Accounting and Carbon Accounting. The implementation of a large number of environmental management accounting tools is fundamental to promote integration and sustainability. The above developments and trends, considered from the perspective of the accounting profession, can make a positive contribution to the protection of our environment. Greater collaboration between researchers, academics and professional accounting bodies can promote the sustainability of our planet.

Palavras-chave : sustainability; sustainable development; financial accounting; management accounting; environmental management accounting; eco-efficiency; accounting profession.

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