Assurance of EER: Challenges and Research Opportunities

Professor Donna L. Street – University of Dayton

IAAER Director of Research and Educational Activities


The presentation addressed two open access articles that contribute to the current discussion on Extended External Reporting (EER) Assurance by providing a comprehensive assessment of the EER Assurance landscape. Krasodomska, Simnett, and Street (2021)[i] summarize the UNCTAD ISAR WBCSD Webinar - Assurance on Sustainability Reports: Current Practices and Challenges, which explored views and practices on EER Assurance and identified challenges and possible ways forward. Stakeholders are demanding more accountability, as reflected in increased publication of EER and regulatory developments. EER can play an important role in rebuilding trust by catalyzing corporate focus and disclosure of business-centric matters material to stakeholders including strategy, business model, governance, and providing a framework for greater transparency on other material non-financial matters. EER, however, cannot rebuild trust unless disclosures are credible and viewed as credible. Thus, it is important that assurance, and other credibility enhancing techniques, are developed alongside EER frameworks and take account of regulatory initiatives. Krasodomska, Simnett, and Street expand on lessons outlined during the Webinar by highlighting questions posed by participants, providing a historical overview of European regulatory developments (e.g., Directive 2014/95/EU and a forthcoming revision), providing a historical overview of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s (IAASB’s) development of ISAE 3000 and forthcoming guidance on addressing major challenges aimed at supporting EER Assurance, and providing an overview of practice-focused publications addressing EER Assurance. The authors conclude with an assessment of the way forward in regard to possible changes in the EER institutional setting, potential harmonization of EER standards, and the ability to provide reasonable versus limited assurance.

Venter and van Eck, (2021)[ii] provide an overview of the academic literature aimed at informing the standard setting initiatives of the IAASB, as well as the practice of EER assurance. The authors identify 121 articles on EER Assurance published between 2009 and 2020 across 35 journals ranked A*, A, and B on the Australian Business Deans Council Journal Quality List. The authors document a rapid increase in this literature with almost half of the articles published in the last 3 years, 2018 to 2020. The authors offer suggestions for future research linked to the IAASB’s proposed Guidance on EER Assurance. Researchers are encouraged to explore these and other issues of the Guidance and provide the IAASB with valuable input to inform their standard setting


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