Assurance on Sustainability Reports: A Study of Factors Influencing the Selection of an Assurance Framework

Thumbnail Image
Rao, Sunita S.
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
February 2017
Alternative Title
One of the important ways of adding credibility to sustainability reports published by companies is obtaining assurance on them (Simmett, Vanstraelen and Chua 2009). This study examines the factors that influence the selection of an assurance framework for the purpose of assuring sustainability reports where the choice is between international assurance frameworks and other assurance frameworks. Audit-firm specific, client-company specific, industry-level, country level factors are considered as explanatory variables. The type of assurance framework used (International versus others) may indicate assurance provider preferences. Further, use of international frameworks (ISAE3000 and AA1000AS) may indicate a trend towards standardization of assurance frameworks and ease of comparison. On the other hand, use of national assurance frameworks may indicate a possible country-of-origin effect.