In Shell’s 2002 triple bottom line reporting, GRI’s guideline has been generally followed. However, in its principle and policy statement, it is also clearly stated that successful guideline should be specific for each industry sector and meaningful measuring and reporting should combine quantitative measures with more in -depth reporting on key issues or locations. So, the framework of triple bottom line reporting is mainly built on Shell’s values and principles and brings the necessary structure and consistency to the companies’ efforts to balance economic, environmental, social and other stakeholder expectations.In Shell’s TBL reporting, key performance indicators (KPIs) have been used to measure company’s performance attached with the in-depth case study for highlight. These key performance indicators that are developed with a broad range of stakeholders include customer satisfaction, acceptability of environmental performance and human rights etc. Six of them are global environmental and safety parameters that reflect shell’s principle worldwide impacts.
Five of them are new key performance indicators that are based on people’s views of Shell’s own performance. Compared with last year’s report, the accountability of its measurement has been improved. However, the measurement in using key performance indicators are really concerned with their own businesses and their stakeholders. To monitor and measure in the context of sustainable development, Shell has to develop metrics for performance across the triple bottom line.From the above discussion, it is clear that certain progress has been made in triple bottom line reporting, however, there is still a lot of challenge and ongoing problems for accountants to reach the final goal. It is not just enough to solve the problems of measurement.
It is important for accountants to establish a whole set of new accounting theory to meet the new requirement under triple bottom line reporting.Currently there is an increasing trend for organisations to attempt to incorporate sustainable development concepts into their reporting and decision-making processes, Hence it is necessarily and urgent for accountants to establish appropriate legislation and accounting standards as a regulatory framework for triple bottom line reporting. However, according to( ), there is a lack of enough knowledge for current accountants specially in environmental and social areas to prepare triple bottom line reporting.Therefore, the adequate academic training is required for accountants to improve company’s accountability to the society with the necessary skills in preparing triple bottom line reporting (Lodhia, 1998, p. 22). At the same time accountants may corporate with other experts in environmental and social fields to take the challenge in triple bottom line accounting. The work of Cooper (2002, p. 1) demonstrates that the environmental and sustainability issue is one of the drivers of change that will impact on the role of accountants in the future.
Therefore, accountants will have to transform from the traditional role to the new role. Accountants in the new economic model will be included in identifying, measuring, allocating of costs, and integrating of these into business decision making and communicating of the information to stakeholders of an organization” (Corrigan, J. 2001). At the same time the accountants will also face the competition in the provision for services with others specialist such as tax agents, business advisers, unqualified accountants, financial planners, engineers and various consultant.
However, accountants will play an essential role in triple bottom reporting application within an organization because they can provide accountability of an organization to the public in the regards of its environmental, social and economic performance. Particularly, management accountants that have expertise in analyzing, measuring and reporting information will be in a spotlight to help assess the financial costs and risks associated with different environmental, social and economic options and train the staff in understanding sustainable development reports and concepts.