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20 July, 2010
Businesses grappling with the move towards a low carbon economy will have a helping hand thanks to two Deakin University researchers.
Associate Professor Victoria Wise and Dr Vijaya Thyil from the Deakin Business School were awarded a $22,965 grant from CPA Australia for a project, part of which will involve the development of a 'tool-kit' that businesses can use to manage the transition.
“The transition to a low carbon economy has the potential to stimulate growth, create jobs and bring benefits to the economy as well as the environment,” explained Associate Professor Wise.
“However, there is a severe lack of knowledge about the nature and magnitude of the risks businesses face as well as the opportunities and structural changes that will emerge from the transition.
“Businesses will need information on many matters including the impact of the transition on small and medium-sized business enterprises relative to large corporations, access to project financing, the effect on business credit ratings, the impacts on securities markets, product costing, supply-chain disruptions, market share and target markets.
“These are all matters that will need to be measured and assessed.”
Associate Professor Wise said the project was particularly important for the accounting profession which played an integral role in accounting for, and reporting on, the activity of the business sector.
“As we have seen in other areas of the economy where similar upheavals have occurred there will be structural changes regardless of the amelioration measures that the Australian government uses such as subsidies, taxes, penalties and regulation.
“These changes will significantly affect the structure, measurement and reporting by organizations and as a consequence the accounting profession.”
Dr Thyil said carbon-focused thinking and planning would need new tools and management practices.
“If accountants, managers and other business planners and policy-makers are to remain at the cutting-edge of providing useful information for decision-making, they will need to consider measurements and strategies outside of conventional paradigms,” she said.
“The accounting profession is well-placed to assist in the development and measurement of clear and achievable goals and targets expressed in financial terms.”
Dr Thyil said the empirical data provided by the project and the 'tool-kit' would go a long way towards helping managers make better-informed decisions.
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