Environmental Social and Governance Conference

The topic of ESG is of growing importance to the profession with many firms creating a new service line around ESG Consulting Services and accountants and auditors considering the regulatory landscape. Our ESG conference will bring insights and expertise from across the three areas of Environmental, Social and Governance, focusing on the impact on practices and how you can ensure you are maximizing the opportunity and risk.


Now available: Conferences On-Demand

Following this conference, a recording of the event will be available to purchase. This gives you the ability to catch up on technical updates at your convenience. If you've already registered for the live event, you'll now receive complimentary access to the recording.


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Full conference agenda

Gemma Archer, Mercia Group & Julia Penny, JSPenny Consulting

Environment – why is this important for accountants, especially those involved as advisers to SMEs rather than the big, listed companies? What impact is there on accounts, audit, tax and business advisory?

Social – companies these days are not expected just to be in it for themselves. Customers, employees, other stakeholders and the public expect more from them. How can these social aspects be woven into the work a company does and why is it important?

Governance – we have seen some spectacular governance failures, for instance the CBI and the damaging culture that was allowed to develop where staff, especially women, felt the company would not or did not listen to or act on issues of harassment and much worse. 

In this session we explore why ESG is important for all companies and therefore their advisers, not just the big multinationals. We look at some of the practical implications and solutions for those that need to understand more about this rapidly developing area.

Jose Antonio De Mayne Hopkins, Simplify Climate

This session will cover:

  • What is the ‘e’ of ESG? Critical considerations practitioners need to consider
  • Why should you care: regulatory overview and other considerations (such as changes in extreme weather)
  • Operability and interface of the various reporting ESG standards
  • Accounting profession is under pressure: overview of IFRS, FRS102, assurance and FRC thematic reviews
  • Case studies x2 (accounting treatment of ESG risks)
  • Key takeaways 

Julia Penny, JSPenny Consulting

ESG might seem like it only applies to big, listed corporations, but with the impact of climate and social changes increasingly affecting all sizes of company, it is important that accountants understand the impact for their clients and where they need to upgrade their skills.

This session will focus on the s, or the social part of ESG, but this closely relates to e for environment as many of the social expectations that impact a company relate to climate and the environment. This session will look at areas that might be considered important from a social perspective and how companies might leverage these, such as:

  • health and wellbeing
  • culture and behaviour
  • products and services
  • local impact, including on the environment
  • supply chains, including risks of modern slavery
  • social reporting
  • community Interest Companies (CICs)
  • BCorp certification and what it means.

Ross Haydock, Mercia Group Ltd

Good ESG strategies are underpinned by good governance structures that monitor and manage the opportunities and risks to which an entity is exposed, ensuring there is accountability for decision making.

This session will cover:

  • how to integrate ESG matters into existing governance structures
  • how accountants can support boards in understanding the issues
  • developing accountability.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, MHA

This is a technical session covering the principles, requirements, opportunities and risks of regulatory reporting and compliance.

We will be sharing our class leading insight into the needs for such regulations and why businesses need to adapt, plan and comply.

Gemma Archer, Mercia Group Ltd

This session will include a recap of the key messages from today’s sessions and an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.

Conference speakers

Gemma jointly leads the team responsible for Mercia’s file and compliance reviews, including performing reviews at client sites or remotely. She also lectures on Mercia’s Early Careers Programme and on specialist areas such as charities and academies, ESG and Mercia methodology, as well as advising clients on technical queries.

Gemma joined Mercia from audit practice in January 2021, where she had worked for 13 years, specialising in not-for-profit and charity clients for over a decade. Gemma has a keen interest in academies and sits on several ESFA working groups.

Julia Penny is a Chartered Accountant, specialising in writing about and training auditing and financial reporting. She has over 25 years' of training experience, covering a wide variety of course types, from quick updates to in-depth workshops, and she is renowned for her lively course delivery.

In recent years, Julia has become a social media enthusiast, so do follow her updates on Twitter.

Julia is very involved with ICAEW activities, being a Council and Board member and sitting on the Ethics Advisory Committee. She also sits on the Audit and Assurance Board of the AAT, their equivalent to an audit committee.

CEO/Founder of Simplify Climate and subject matter expert on the accounting and reporting of sustainability and ESG matters, Jose works closely with ACCA, FRC and ICAEW as a subject matter expert (writing training, thought leadership, attending roundtables to provide expert views etc.). Before setting up its company, Jose worked closely with senior individuals at KPMG and MHA (UK operations of Baker Tilly) in London to build internal accounting and assurance teams to challenge and support the preparation of ESG/TCFD reports and accounting disclosures.

Additionally, Jose helps organisations navigate the speed of change in mandatory and voluntary sustainability and ESG reporting regulations by performing a holistic diagnostic review to help organisations assess their preparedness and fit against the requirements of SDGs, CDP, GRI, TCFD, TNFD, IFRS, ISSB to help develop and implement a transparent sustainability and ESG strategy with a practical reporting roadmap to assist organisations with decision making and help to budget for the significant changes we are experiencing in reporting regulations.

Jose’s experience involves working with the biggest copper mine in the world (Minera Escondida managed by BHP), one of the top agricultural companies in the world (Syngenta), the biggest offshore wind farm renewable company in the UK (previous called Infinis), Trainline, Virgin group, KAZ Minerals and other listed complex mining companies.

Ross Haydock is a technical consultant in the A & A team.

He most recently worked in the International Donor Assurance team in BDO LLP and trained at the National Audit Office.

He is a qualified Certified Fraud Examiner and SASB Level I ESG qualified.

One Day Conference
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The on-demand recording is now available

Released on 6 May 2024 the recording will be available to view until 31 December 2024.