Jeremy Nicholls is a director and one of the founders of Social Value International, a membership organisation for individuals and organisations supporting principles and standards in accounting for social and environmental value. He works part time with the Impact Management Project and is Professor of Social Value at Staffordshire University.
He is also a non-executive director of the FRC Group (a social business based in Liverpool), the Social Investment Business (a social investor) and the Social and Human Capital Coalition. He chairs the British Standards Institute’s social value committee and is a member of Accounting for Sustainability’s Expert Panel; the IRIS advisory committee; and the UK Social Value Taskforce.
He originally qualified as a chartered accountant, including time as the Finance Director for Tanzania Railways.
We need ‘warrior accountants’ who must do more than help “standardise ESG”, warns Jeremy Nicholls. The risks of depending on declining environmental resources or below-standard working conditions must also be “managed and reported".
Do we really care about the ability of organisations to make money at the same time as value for others? We must close the gap between what businesses report on and what they are held legally accountable for, argues Jeremy Nicholls.
“But how can it be neutral?” In the first of our new Nicholls & Dimes series, social value expert Jeremy Nicholls responds to the former Bank of England Governor – and asks how eminent economists can ignore the fundamental role of accounting.
Are claims made in social impact measurement reports accurate? Someone should check, says Jeremy Nicholls. After all, investors receive independently audited financial reports. Why shouldn’t beneficiaries receive the same?
Jeremy Nicholls argues that the world needs to change the way that it accounts for value. This is vital to reduce ever-increasing inequality, which – if it isn’t halted – will take us back to a feudal society.
"Could we have created more value with the resources we have available?" This is the question that board members need to be asking in order to truly embed an effective impact measurement approach in their organisations.