LAHOPRE - Supply chains were pushed to the limit in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, with extreme weather events, port delays, and political and economic uncertainty stress-testing their resilience.

With little signs of turbulence ending, accountants and procurement experts have created a ‘Charter for Collaboration’ that commits to working closer together to better understand and address the complexities of global supply chains, and which focuses on the achievement of organisational purpose and value to society, one that is far broader than the traditional profit motive. Views of various types of professionals are captured in a new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), CIPS (The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) and IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) called Supply chains: a finance professional’s perspective. The report highlights that due to ongoing disruption, major fault lines must be tackled, including that many organisations do not really understand their supply networks; that regulation is accelerating; and that financial and non-financial reporting demands are also increasing.

With business models shifting at a rapid pace, it means procurement and supply professionals and finance teams need to work much closer together in the planning process, the management of working capital, the development of ethical supply chains, or in managing the enterprise risks.

Helen Brand OBE, chief executive, ACCA said: ‘While there’s an intensified regulatory focus on supply chains, including their sustainability and the impact that they have on the world’s carbon emission targets, a strong ethical lens is also needed to address poor working conditions, modern slavery and other social issues. These are critical issues that accountants and supply chain professionals have the power to change together – especially in this decade of action to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.’

To help finance teams and supply chain experts join forces, the ‘Charter for Collaboration’ highlights ten areas of activity to deliver success – including a shared vision that supports the purpose of the business and its operations; joined up risk and due diligence management; and having a clear understanding of environment, social and governance (ESG) policies.