Blog Article

Wednesday 1 September 2021

I sat there, eyes glued to the screen, transfixed. Knowing, at any minute the door could fly open, and I'd be done for. Embarrassed, caught red handed. And not for the first time. Obviously, there's a risk, but sometimes the temptation is, quite simply, too great. Of course, it's not my fault. I can't help it. It's those know-it-all tech giants with their sneaky little algorithms; what we want to see next, which way to go, this way or that. It's them I blame.

And it's not just me. I'm not alone. There are many others that miss the thrill of flying, the excitement of the airport. Many, many other misty-eyed aviation geeks that go on-line searching out airplane nostalgia.

So, for any like-minded readers out there – and you know who you are - I can thoroughly recommend the relatively short film -  "A330 SFO to DUB" – with nearly 8 million views. You See.

As with most You-Tube activities, the inevitable thing to do is to peruse the comments. A veritable smorgasbord of opinions of this virtual flight? As varied and numerous as the dining options in First Class (or so I've been told)?

Well, no.

"Such professionalism by the pilots to keep us safe...."

"I find this incredibly relaxing to watch. True professionals...."

"I just admire the professionalism of everyone involved in flying....."

"How professionally intelligent can you get!...."

"The flight crew was working together as a team and extremely professional..."

As you can see, there's pretty much a unanimous view here. Opinions that accurately describe the way in which 'the action' does unfold on screen. From the very first moment the flight crew enter the cockpit everything just flows. It's smooth. Orderly. Co-ordinated. Every action, every spoken word, in its predetermined place. Check. Just follow the flight plan, there's no rush. Check.

Yet, there's still space for judgement and individual decision making when called for. For example, just a few minutes into the film, with constant headphone chatter from air traffic control; a voice comes across with a clear, unambiguous message –

  • - "You have clearance to cross" -  -

The First Captain hears this, reacts, and the plane moves forward crossing a runway, all the time the pilot looking left, looking right, ensuring the path really is clear, ready to react quickly if the situation turns out to be not as described, ready to make a judgement call if required. It is all very calm. It is very professional.  

Isn't this how we should see ourselves as corporate reporters?


We're there in the background, not often seen, but hopefully with calm and order, delivering. Our journey? Well, let's say it's the statement preparation; the destination, those completed financials. The flight plan you could say is our set of standards, developed over so many, many years, just like those cockpit procedures. Instructions - revised, refined, re-tuned in the light of questions raised, queries answered, new transactions emerging, alternative ways of thinking developed.

Yet, still there, providing the foundation for us to pilot the course; standardised, but retaining clearance for individual decision making. When our flight path becomes a little uncertain, a little turbulent, we refer to what we know, and remember our professionalism allows us, indeed requires us, to look left, to look right and to make our call, based on our judgements. It's very calm. It's very professional. We expect it to be so.

Now, about this turbulence? Pilots are trained for it. But what about us?

And, how will we react when it's the flight plan, a whole new plan, that's causing the crosswinds?

I refer, as I have done in previous posts, to ESG (Environment, Sustainability, Governance) and specifically to ESG Reporting.

As the IASB moves across into the captain's seat, taking over control for delivering on a set of ESG Reporting Standards, they'll be a whole new way of viewing 'things', of new disclosures, presentation, measurement. They'll be a new universally accepted flight plan. Eventually. And it'll be big. And it will cause the crosswinds to blow. Inevitably. There will be storms before the calm returns. Turbulence.

The Board, following its own due process, its own standards, has consulted on eleven areas, wanting to find answers to what it perceives as the main challenges ahead. So, us corporate reporting pilots will also need to gain an understanding, a new understanding, to meet those challenges.

The horizon is changing, that's for sure. And, like the navigator helping to steer the course, we at IASeminars aim to assist, and to support you on your journey, no matter how bumpy it might be.

The ESG Reporting flight is cleared for take-off. It's going to be long-haul.

Let's buckle up.

Upcoming IASeminars courses relating to ESG and sustainability reporting

Courses being held in London:

ESG Reporting - Why you need to care
6th December 2021

Accounting for Climate Change
7th December 2021

Courses being held in our Virtual Classroom:

ESG Reporting - Why you need to care (Virtual Classroom)
19th October 2021

Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) - data, accounting and reporting (Virtual Classroom)
15th – 18th November 2021

ISAE3000(R) - International Standard on Assurance Engagements 3000 (Revised) - Comprehensive Workshop (Virtual Classroom)
9th – 10th November 2021

If you are interested in attending any of our courses let us know. There’s a “Keep Me Updated” button on each course page – click that and fill out the form to let us know of your interest and we can keep you updated about the arrangements for the course and answer any questions you may have.

About the Author

Related Articles

Accounting for Natural Resources in the Public Sector

How far can public sector jurisdictions account for the natural resources that contribute so much to...

Read More >

Do you really want training?

Are you familiar with the saying “people don’t want a quarter-inch drill; they want a quarter-inch...

Read More >

What ESG Is: The ESG Arbitrage Effect

Last month, I shared an article on what ESG is not, moved by an agitating sensation that strangely u...

Read More >

The importance of gender budgeting in PFM

Public financial management (PFM) covers a wide range of public expenditure on services and goods. R...

Read More >

What ESG Is Not

I recently penned a piece on the conspicuous rise in ESG ‘experts’, evaluating the claims to exper...

Read More >

Introducing the ESG Masterclass for Business Leaders

Have you begun to consider how Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues affect your busines...

Read More >

Stay Updated with IASeminars

Join 20,000+ other professionals on our global mailing list.