AccountAbility E-Licensing Platform is a Step Towards “Next Generation” Sustainability Assurance & Resources

AccountAbility, a trusted global ESG Consulting and Standards Firm for 30 years, will announce a series of initiatives to enhance the quality of global sustainability assurance. With these enhancements, AccountAbility licensed assurance providers will receive market-leading solutions to deliver the world's most innovative, user-friendly, and trusted sustainability assurance standard – the AA1000 Assurance Standard v3 (AA1000AS v3).

NEW YORK and LONDON, February 13, 2024

Today marks the first of these initiatives – the launch of a revamped e-licensing platform for licensed assurance providers, incorporating additional checks on ethics, independence, quality, and ease-of-use features.

Ethics, independence, quality, and ease of use have been central to AccountAbility's AA1000 Series of Standards since inception, and the firm continues to apply its deep expertise and experience, integration of quality assurance technology, strategic global partnerships, and continuous enhancements to the tools and resources provided to its Standards users.

The new platform will include:

  • Enhancements to the pre-approval process that Licensed Assurance Providers are required to complete before commencing assurance engagements
  • Updates to compliance and validation requirements Assurance Providers must meet when issuing Assurance Statements to Reporting Companies
  • Improvements to the back-end system that strengthen cybersecurity
  • Improvements to the user interface that make for a better user experience
  • Preparation for future AI integration for automated, streamlined, and scalable license and statement validation processes

The AA1000AS v3 requires AccountAbility licensed assurance providers to follow a robust process before issuing Assurance Statements to reporting companies in order to ensure quality and transparency. All assured sustainability disclosures, which numbered more than 1,150+ in 2023, are added to a public web list on the AccountAbility Standards website, accessible via –

Licensed assurance providers and assurance practitioners involved in all AA1000AS v3 assurance engagements complete a license agreement and must operate in accordance with and be bound by the AA1000AS v3 Code of Practice. Values associated with this commitment deepen and reinforce assurance, professionalism, and effectiveness while safeguarding the high-quality application of the AA1000AS v3.

Planned quality enhancement updates to the AA1000 Series will also align with the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Internal Control-Integrated Framework (ICIF) and the latest and upcoming developments in the standards ecosystem to meet rigorous assurance requirements comparable to financial information.

In order to ensure relevance to its global assurance providers, AccountAbility's Standards team actively monitors developments in the standards and assurance landscape across jurisdictions, including:

  • International Sustainability Standards Board's (ISSB) standards
  • International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) proposed new standards
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) proposed Climate Disclosure Rule
  • EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)
  • Proposed EU Green Claims Directive
  • Mandatory sustainability disclosures required nationally, such as in India and South Korea, as well as the requirements by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), among others

"We are witnessing intensifying regulatory mandates and stakeholder expectations regarding the assurance of non-financial information. AccountAbility is responding with several significant developments to meet the needs of its global users," comments Mr. Dongsoo Kim, AccountAbility Standards Board Member and the former Executive Director of Korea Productivity Center (KPC).

"The AA1000AS v3 is trusted globally for its universal applicability in assuring sustainability data. We understand the implications that global assurance trends have for practitioners and providers alike, and we are constantly working to provide the clarity and resources that our expanding roster of AA1000AS v3 users need to meet the needs of their clients and advance the sustainability standards agenda,” says Ms. Peppi-Emilia Airike, AccountAbility Head of Standards & Research.

Other upcoming initiatives AccountAbility has undertaken to enhance the quality of sustainability assurance globally include:

  • GHG Guidance Document – A guide to applying the AA1000 Assurance Standard v3 to assure climate-related data and reporting (expected Q2 2024)
    AccountAbility will release supplementary Guidance on Assuring GHG Emissions with the AA1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS v3) in Q2 2024. The Guidance Document will provide users of the AA1000AS v3 with direction regarding the application of AccountAbility's Principles-based assurance methodology to assure climate-related data and reporting. This is intended to arm assurance providers with the guidance needed to respond to the increasing volume of assurance mandates worldwide, such as the EU's CSRD, the SEC's proposed Climate Disclosure Rule, and several other future requirements globally.

  • Assurance Standards Bridging Document – An overview of the alignment between the AA1000AS v3 and ISAE 3000 (expected Q2 2024)
    AccountAbility will publish a Bridging Document, which details the alignment between AA1000AS v3 and the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised) Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information. The Bridging Document will clarify the application of the two assurance standards and establish the equivalence of accounting assurance levels (Limited + Reasonable) with AA1000AS v3 levels (Moderate + High).

  • Advancing Ethical Sustainability Reporting
    AccountAbility has joined the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Sustainability Reference Group, supporting global roundtables as part of its ongoing Sustainability Project to develop ethics and independence standards for sustainability reporting and assurance.

About AccountAbility  

AccountAbility is a global consulting and standards firm that works with businesses, investors, governments, and multilateral organizations to innovate and advance the global sustainability / ESG agenda by improving organizations' practices, performance, and impact. The firm focuses on delivering practical, effective, and enduring results that enable our clients to succeed. AccountAbility is a Public Benefit Corporation operating globally through a highly qualified team from offices in New York, London, Riyadh, and Dubai. The firm is the recipient of multiple business awards from the Financial Times, Forbes, and Capital Finance International.


Mr. Gavin Doran
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Phone: +1 850 502 3098

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