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CSRD: what you need to know about auditing

Summary

The EU's CSRD stresses the importance of transparency in companies' financial and non-financial reporting, highlighting ESG issues. External auditing plays a crucial role in verifying the reliability of this information, requiring full cooperation from companies.
ESG standards, such as the GRI standards, guide this audit, which covers a wide range of areas, including greenhouse gas emissions and diversity.
Companies must ensure that they collect accurate and complete data, or face sanctions for non-compliance. Communicating audit results is essential for building stakeholder confidence.
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Introduction

The European Union's (EU) Corporate Social Responsibility Directive (CSRD) aims to strengthen corporate transparency and accountability concerning financial and non-financial information. This includes environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. In this context, auditing plays an important role in ensuring the reliability of the information disclosed by companies. This article summarizes what you need to know about auditing.

Someone consulting an external data audit report required by the CSRD

Ensure the reliability of the information

Reliability and rigorous data management are key elements in assessing the overall performance of the company and its impact on society and the environment. For this reason, it is essential to have mechanisms in place to review the information disclosed and ensure its accuracy.

The EU's national supervisory authorities are responsible for supervising companies' compliance with the CSRD. They also play a role in the approval of external auditors.

External auditing

The CSRD generally requires that published reports be subject to an external auditing by an independent auditor. The auditor reviews the information disclosed by the company to ensure its accuracy, completeness, and compliance with reporting standards.

The company must fully cooperate with the external auditor. This includes providing them with all the information and documentation necessary to carry out the audit.

The auditor assesses the robustness of the company's data collection processes, including the methodology used, the frequency of collection, and the source of the data. The goal is to ensure that data is collected appropriately and reliably.

Auditing standards

Companies must comply with ESG standards and relevant national or international reporting regulations. Compliance helps ensure the reliability and comparability of information.

The auditor ensures that companies comply with the ESG reporting standards specified in the CSRD, as well as recognized ESG reporting standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.

The GRI standards are a global benchmark for ESG reporting, helping to standardize the way companies communicate their sustainability and social responsibility efforts.

Areas covered by the auditing

The auditor reviews the company's ESG data, including information on greenhouse gas emissions, diversity issues, ethical labor practices, and more.

It is important to define the scope of the audit, the objectives, the resources needed, and the timeline in advance. If the auditing is carried out within the framework of the CSRD, it covers the areas covered by the obligations of the Directive.

Auditing plays an essential role in guaranteeing the reliability of disclosed financial and non-financial information.

2 people shaking hands, symbolising trust thanks to the CSRD audit

Corporate Responsibility

To meet CSRD obligations, the company has a responsibility to collect accurate and comprehensive ESG data. This means having reliable processes in place to collect, measure, and analyze this data.

Obligation to collect information

Companies need to be transparent about the data collection and calculation methods they employ. They are required to put in place tools and resources for the collection of information they use to prepare the reports. This ensures that the reports they publish are reliable.

It is important that the employees involved in a company are aware of the importance of accurate data collection and are adequately trained to perform this task. This helps reduce errors such as duplicates and omissions.

Companies can implement internal audits and quality controls to ensure that the collection methods in place are working properly.

Penalties for non-compliance

Companies that fail to meet compliance standards may face financial penalties (fines, suspension of subsidies, etc.) or other legal consequences.

In addition, it undermines the confidence of their partners and investors. It is therefore in the interest of companies to comply with these reporting obligations seriously and rigorously.

Communication of audit results

Once the auditing is complete, the auditor issues an audit statement. This statement indicates whether the information reviewed is reliable and complies with ESG reporting standards.

The results of the audit should be communicated to stakeholders, including banks and investors, as the results of the audit can strongly influence their confidence in the company.

D-Carbonize is an ideal partner for companies that want to make the collection of their carbon emissions data more reliable and simple. This solution helps them ensure data that meets the standards in place.
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