COSO: Achieving Effective Internal Control Over Sustainability Reporting (ICSR)


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Leveraging the significant knowledge gained in the application of ICIF to financial reporting over the past two decades, this guidline introduces “internal control over sustainability reporting” (ICSR) into the internal control lexicon. The new study references and expands on a 2017 study by three of the co-authors, “Leveraging the COSO Internal Control—Integrated Framework to Improve Confidence in Sustainability Performance Data,” which helped to spur the journey toward consistent standards and frameworks to achieve sustainability goals.

The supplemental guidance points to several key themes as organizations and practitioners begin or continue their journeys toward establishing and maintaining an effective system of internal control over financial and sustainable business information. Although ICSR is not yet well established in practice, the paper discusses crucial insights that can be gained from the experiences of those organizations that are leading the way. In the new study, each of the 17 principles in ICIF-2013 is explained and interpreted for application to sustainability. Additionally, “points of focus” from the ICIF are included along with practical insights and application of the supplemental guidance.