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Creating value: sustainability and accounting for non-financial matters in the pre- and post-corona environment

Sumit Lodhia (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Umesh Sharma (Department of Accounting, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)
Mary Low (Department of Accounting, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Article publication date: 31 May 2021

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021

784

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce the special issue on “sustainability and accounting for non-financial matters: qualitative and quantitative research approaches”. This special issue was organised at the time when the entire globe was affected by the Coronavirus and accordingly, this paper has taken this opportunity to discuss the implications of this pandemic on accounting for non-financial issues, especially in relation to sustainability accounting research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of public documents and limited academic research on the Coronavirus was undertaken in this paper to highlight how life as it existed has fundamentally changed. The authors also review the papers published in this special issue and identifies research opportunities arising from the current environment.

Findings

The onslaught of the Coronavirus provides both challenges and opportunities for the practice of, and research into, accounting for non-financial matters, such as sustainability. The papers published in this special issue promote understanding and linking of sustainability reporting practices, to creating firm values, as well as identifying current and emerging challenges. The special issue explores criteria for the construction of accounting technology that is consistent with agnostic-based critical accounting and accountability, a business case for managers and practitioners to formulate strategic and management control systems in response to climate change issues, legitimacy and the use of photographs in sustainability reporting to create value, effective disclosures of business and sustainability ethics practiced by the firm for reputation building and value creation, indigenous accounting in mining companies, public sector policy framing of non-financial value, the barriers to sustainability reporting because of lack of awareness and knowledge and inadequate regulatory support in developing countries and the significance of sustainability accounting education to improve sustainability reporting practices in developing countries.

Research limitations/implications

Future research opportunities in relation to the impact of the Coronavirus on accounting for non-financial value are identified. Given that COVID-19 is a societal matter, the practical implications of the Coronavirus in accounting for non-financial value creation are highlighted. The Coronavirus has challenged the existing economic paradigm and non-financial issues will capture the attention of corporations, other institutions, civil society and governments.

Practical implications

The Coronavirus has challenged the existing economic paradigm and non-financial issues will capture the attention of corporations, other institutions, civil society and governments.

Social implications

Given that COVID-19 is a societal matter, the practical implications of the Coronavirus in accounting for non-financial value creation are highlighted.

Originality/value

This study, to the knowledge, is one of the pioneer academic studies that has explored the implications of the Coronavirus on accounting for non-financial value. In addition, this special issue includes papers that highlight how non-financial reporting matters are increasingly being given attention by companies to enhance business practices on sustainability through different perspectives.

Keywords

Citation

Lodhia, S., Sharma, U. and Low, M. (2021), "Creating value: sustainability and accounting for non-financial matters in the pre- and post-corona environment", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 185-196. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-03-2021-1249

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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