ESG 14 February, 2024

Why CSRD assurance? 

Crowe Peak/ Knowledge Hub/ ESG/

Why CSRD assurance? 

Sustainability is no longer an incidental aspect of a company’s operations; it should be, or evolve into, the core of the company’s business model. From this standpoint, the logical progression is to integrate financial and non-financial information into a unified (annual) report. Limited assurance and reasonable assurance on CSRD will thus become obligatory components of the annual reports for most Dutch and European companies in the upcoming years. In anticipation of this legal requirement, it is prudent to equip yourself and engage an external advisor to navigate the upcoming challenges in terms of sustainability themes.

Limited assurance and reasonable assurance in the context of CSRD 

As an integral component of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the sustainability report that will be obligatory for almost all European companies in the forthcoming years must undergo scrutiny by an external auditor. Subsequently, the auditor imparts a certain level of “assurance” to the report. The objective is to elevate the quality of sustainability information to a standard equivalent to financial information. This is necessary because the currently disclosed sustainability information by companies often allows for varying interpretations. In accordance with the CSRD, obtaining assurance will be obligatory for all CSRD topics. Initially, limited assurance (“LA”) is mandated, progressing over time to reasonable assurance (“RA”). 

Who is authorized to provide assurance in the Netherlands? 

In the Netherlands, the external accountant (auditor) may provide assurance. Currently, it remains uncertain whether other assurance entities will also be permitted to evaluate sustainability reports in the Netherlands. This uncertainty is exacerbated by the absence of a decision from the Dutch legislature, and clarity is expected once CSRD is incorporated into Dutch law. 

Regarding the assurance process, ambiguity persists. Limited assurance standards are not expected to be adopted by the European Commission until 2025. Furthermore, reasonable assurance standards are projected to be adopted by the end of 2027, contingent upon the outcomes of the feasibility study. It is important to note that the absence of complete clarity about all implications of the assurance requirement into Dutch and European legislation does not make the CSRD less mandatory.

The assurance requirements do not exempt companies from the responsibility to report accurate information starting from the initial reporting year. In other words, limited assurance does not equate to limited reporting. Interested in learning more? Download our whitepaper ‘CSRD-compliance in 12 steps’ below.

Download “CSRD compliance in 12 steps”

When does limited assurance and reasonable assurance become mandatory? 

The need to secure assurance for the sustainability report, like other obligations outlined in the CSRD, will be implemented gradually. Curious about when your company is obligated to comply? Refer to the overview below. 

Get ready for assurance 

Crowe Peak’s accountants are skilled (chartered) accountants renowned for their meticulousness and precision. Beyond providing expertise, they offer an impartial and transparent perspective. We are ready to assist your organization with a comprehensive array of CSRS assurance services. Now and in the future. Interested in discussing the possibilities? Schedule an appointment directly.

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