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Dr. Sylvia Veronica (Faculty of Economics and Business): Covid-19, Corporate Reporting, SDGs

Prof. Dr. Sylvia Veronica Nalurita Purnama Siregar, S.E., a professor of Accounting from the Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia (FEB UI) delivered a speech titled “The Impact of Covid-19 on Corporate Reporting and the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals” on the occasion of her officiation as a Professor of Economics and Business held virtually on Saturday (26/03).

In her speech, Prof. Sylvia explained how sustainable reporting plays an important part in the pandemic, becoming in effect a media of communication relaying information, to external parties, on how a company guarantees the interests of stakeholders during the period, as well as plans and strategies to be employed in facing the consequences of the pandemic.

“Companies need to consider the impact of those risks on their financial reporting, not only include them on their sustainability reports. Financial reports do not only reflect past transactions; some figures in financial reports are based on estimations and assumptions of the future.

Financial reporting and sustainability reporting are two forms of corporate reporting, the process by which a company communicates with the outside world in general, and investors and stakeholders in particular. Financial reporting has been greatly impacted by Covid-19, due to the disruption of business operations and increase in uncertainty and risks companies have to face due to the pandemic.

According to Prof. Sylvia, dealing with issues of sustainability, such as climate change, requires considerable amount of investment. The amount of funds poured into fighting Covid-19 causes a lack of funds that can be spent elsewhere, including on issues of sustainability, thereby posing a challenge in the progress towards Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs), a set of goals agreed upon by member states of the United Nations in 2015 with the goal of ending poverty worldwide, safeguarding the environment, and reducing inequality.

“All of us may agree that Covid-19 has brought on significant impacts on various aspects of life. Impacts are also apparent in corporate reporting and the attainment of SDGs. Accountants are among those having sufficient knowledge to be able to assume strategic [decision-making] roles. Corporate accountants need to place more consideration on the effect of uncertainty and risks caused by the pandemic on the figures reported in financial reports, and in making financial reports and sustainability reports, attention needs to be placed on the impact of sustainability issues on financial reporting and reporting concerning the contribution of the company on the achievement of SDGs.”

Dr Sylvia advised on a need of a system thinking process on the part of the companies involved, due to strong interdependence between the company and the natural ecosystem where it operates.

Dr. Sylvia’s officiation was attended by several notable guests, among which are the Minister of State Secretariat Prof. Dr. Pratikno, M.Soc.Sc.; Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Dr. Ir. M. Basuki Hadimuljono, M.Sc.; dan the Head of the Nusantara Capital City Authority (Otorita IKN) Dr. Ir. Bambang Susantono, MCP., MSCE.

Dr. Sylvia earned two degrees from UI: a bachelorate in 1998, then a doctorate on accounting on 2005

Sylvia earned two degrees from UI: a bachelorate in 1998, then a doctorate on accounting on 2005. She is an accomplished scholar, who has published many scientific works dealing with economics, among which are The effect of business uncertainty on IT governance. Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting (2021), The effect of audit committee characteristics on forward-looking disclosure. Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting (2021), Sustainability practices and the cost of debt: Evidence from ASEAN countries. Journal of Cleaner Production (2021), The effect of enterprise risk management on financial performance and firm value: the role of environmental, social and governance performance. Meditari Accountancy Research (2021), and The diffusion and adoption of integrated reporting: a cross-country analysis on the determinants. Meditari Accountancy Research (2021).

 

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This post is also available in: Indonesian