Back to Blog

'Accountants refuse incomplete sustainability reports'

Accountants Doubt Approval of Sustainability Reports; The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) Considers Sanctions.

Recently, accountants expressed their concerns in Het Financieele Dagblad about approving sustainability reports of large companies in the coming years, pointing to the challenges companies face in complying with new European sustainability regulations.

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) takes these concerns seriously and is considering additional investigations and possible sanctions, as was recently read in Het Financieele Dagblad. The new rules, known as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), require large enterprises to collect data on aspects such as CO₂ emissions, water use, and staff diversity, and explain how they intend to achieve their sustainability goals. Recent research shows that a quarter of large Dutch companies are not yet ready for this.

Employers' organization VNO-NCW acknowledges the difficulties its members face in gathering the right data. Accounting firms see that companies are busy with preparations, but some have started too late. Under the new rules, companies must have their sustainability reports approved by external parties such as accountants. If this approval cannot be given with certainty, a 'qualified opinion' is issued. In some cases, this can lead to a disapproving statement.

For more information, click here.