IFRS Foundation

Professional & Commercial Services

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Current language: English
The industry includes entities that rely on the unique skills and knowledge of their employees to serve a range of clients. Services are often provided on an assignment basis, where an individual or team is responsible for the delivery of services to clients. Offerings include, but are not limited to, management and administration consulting services, such as staffing and executive search services; legal, accounting, and tax preparation services; and financial and non-financial information services. Non-financial information service providers may specialise in an array of topics such as energy, healthcare, real estate, technology, and science. Financial information service entities include credit and rating agencies as well as data and portfolio analytics providers. Customers of professional and commercial service providers include private and public for-profit institutions and non-profit organisations.

Relevant Issues (3 of 26)

Why are some issues greyed out? The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Professional & Commercial Services

Data Security
  • Data Security

    Entities in every segment of the industry are entrusted with customer data. Employment and temporary staffing agencies as well as data providers and consulting entities store, process, and transmit increasing amounts of sensitive personal data about employees, clients, and candidates. In addition, the clients of financial and non-financial services providers are likely to handle sensitive information and may share this information with professional and commercial services entities. The exposure of sensitive customer information through cybersecurity breaches, other malicious activities, or employee negligence may result in significant risks such as identity fraud and theft. Data breaches may compromise perception of the effectiveness of a service provider’s security measures, which could result in reputational damage and adversely impact an entity’s ability to attract and retain clients.
Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Workforce Diversity & Engagement

    Developing a broad base of employees that are valued, respected, and supported throughout an organisation is essential for the long-term growth prospects of professional and commercial services entities. Human capital is the major source of revenue generation, contributing knowledge, talent, advice, and various technical skills. While financial and non-financial service providers may have a high level of diversity among lower-level employees, they may still lack diversity among senior management. Enhancing workforce diversity, particularly among management positions, is likely to help entities attract and develop the best talent. High levels of employee engagement, fair treatment, and equitable levels of pay and advancement opportunities for all workers are all likely to contribute to increased productivity and performance through all levels of the entity.
Business Ethics
  • Professional Integrity

    The business model of professional and commercial services entities is dependent on the development of client trust and loyalty. To ensure long-term and mutually beneficial relationships, entities seek to provide services that satisfy the highest professional standards of the industry. Professional integrity is an important governance issue in the industry, as the collective organisation of professionals inside a single organisation can make the detection and prevention of conflicts of interest, bias, or negligence more challenging. Training employees adequately, providing advice and distributing data free from bias and error, and taking other measures to ensure professional integrity are important both for strengthening an entity’s license to operate as well as for attracting and retaining clients.

Select up to 4 industries

Current Industry: Professional & Commercial Services

Consumer Goods
Extractives & Minerals Processing
Food & Beverage
Health Care
Renewable Resources & Alternative Energy
Resource Transformation
Technology & Communications

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