Sustainability assurance provider participation in standard setting

R. Flasher, C. K. Luchs, J. L. Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper examines the participation of accounting firms in the development of sustainability standards by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). This study shows that the Big Four accounting firms have an active role in both the submission of comment letters on sustainability to the SEC and participation in the industry working groups (IWG) for the SASB. The SASB participation reveals that individuals located within the US and at international affiliates are participating at earlier career stages. In addition, this paper leverages LinkedIn data, identifying the career path of the individuals subsequent to their participation with the IWG, to determine how large accounting firms are retaining the skills and knowledge necessary for this field. Since the Big Four firms are market leaders in sustainability assurance, the finding that Big Four firms can retain individuals with financial assurance backgrounds differently than individuals with other backgrounds speaks to the unique skill set that financial assurance develops. This suggests that the career opportunities for interested financial assurance individuals within the sustainability sphere remain robust within the Big Four environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalResearch in Accounting Regulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Sociology and Political Science


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