Accounting for Sustainability: The Case Study of Petrobras

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CSR, Sustainability, Ethics and Governance
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Abreu R.
David F.
Segura L.
Formigoni H.
Mantovani F.
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© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG.The quality of information reported by the public companies has been highly discussed along the last decade. The center of this discussion is the implementation of International Financial Report Standards (IFRS) in many countries around the world, searching for reports that could be read for the investors and bring enough information to decide rationally the resource allocation inside the financial system. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the adoption of the appropriate accounting framework supported on the International Accounting Standards (IASB, International accounting standards, IASB, 2015) and the influence of International Auditing Standards (IFAC, Manual das Normas Internacionais de Controlo de Qualidade, Auditoria, Revisão, Outros Trabalhos de Garantia de Fiabilidade e Serviços Relacionados, OROC, 2015) on the promotion of a corporate governance strategy approved by companies to increase the transparency of the information. Furthermore, the authors will be focus on the professional skepticism in relation of the fairness of assertion on the financial statements and the management responsibility for global interest in corporate responsibility and sustainability. The methodological research is divided on two perspectives. The first perspective is theoretical supported on the literature review from accounting and auditing standards. Thus, the consequences of accounting options and complex inter-relationship with auditing generate knowledge that is not yet possible to quantify and to obtain complete information (Warren et al., Contabilidade gerencial, Pioneira Thomson Learning, 2014; Messier et al., Auditing and assurance services a systematic approach, McGraw Hill, 2008; Arens et al., Auditing and assurance services: An integrated approach, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2012). The second perspective is an exploratory, longitudinal and empirical analysis supported on public available sources, such as the research strategy promoted by Yin (Case study research: Design and methods, Sage Publications, 2012) and then the annual and inter-reports in the period 2008–2015 made by Petrobras (Relatório e Contas 2008, Petrobras, 2009; Relatório e Contas 2009, Petrobras, 2010; Relatório e Contas 2010, Petrobras, 2011; Relatório e Contas 2011, Petrobras, 2012; Relatório e Contas 2012, Petrobras, 2013; Relatório e Contas 2013, Petrobras, 2014; Relatório e Contas 2014, Petrobras, 2015). Indeed, the disclosure of the financial statements is from 2008 to 2013 and, subsequently, changes made on 2014 and 2015 of the financial statements. The main contribution of this research is to explore the accounting communication with the society made by Petrobras as the largest company in Latin America and one of the biggest integrated energy companies in the world, with a strategic role in oil geopolitics. Then, the authors aim to understand the relevance of Petrobras activity through the accounting processes and the financial report that it is strongly regulated as a fundamental area of the financial markets. As the future development, the authors aim to widespread the accounting and financial report as weapon to combat mal-functioning of the financial markets and help several stakeholders.
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