IntroductionA B Corporation or a Benefit Corporation is a for-profit legal entity committed to the interest of a wider range of stakeholders than just its investors, including its workers, community, and environment (Storperapril, 2018). According to Schiller (2017), B corporations have greater leeway to support social causes as their managers do not have to worry about investors getting disgruntled about insufficient profits.
What is A B Certified Company?
A B certified company is a for-profit corporation that has obtained a third-party certification as a provider of social benefits in areas such as transparency, accountability, employee benefits, and energy efficiency (Kocollari, 2018). The operations of B certified companies are normally overseen by a nonprofit organization known as B Lab, which assesses companies' scores in the benefit areas on a scale of 1 to 200 points (Benefit Corporation, 2020).
Skills that Accountants and Auditors Need to Make the Companies Succeed and Grow
Accountants and auditors of B corporations and B certified companies need to have a set of skills to leverage technology and intelligence for the success and growth of the entities. One of these abilities is the possession of core data skills that fit the legal policies and systems of the companies (Tysiac, 2018). The most important accounting data skills for companies involved in social good are deductive reasoning, probability, expertise in statistics, and knowledge of data processing. Another important skill is the ability to automate. Accountants and auditors working in these companies may meet policy or system processes that can be leveraged through automation (Tysiac, 2018). Accountants with the ability to use automation to reduce costs and increase efficiency make a difference whether it is in finance processes or production processes. In addition, accountants and auditors of these companies need the ability to effectively convey messages and meaning using data. It means they need to be good storytellers. Social benefit corporations use artificial intelligence, which provides large amounts of data, which would not be useful unless their accountants and auditors can understand and interpret big data.
Example of B Certified CompaniesOne of the B certified Companies is Luke's Lobster, a seafood company that began as a small restaurant in East Village, New York, and has now grown to be a significant agent of positive change. Luke's Lobster focuses on caring for its workers and community, social responsibility, transparency, and sustainability (Luke's Lobster, 2020). The company promotes sustainability by mobilizing its workers to volunteer in coastal cleanup and giving grants to other partners involved in improving the coastal environment. It also prides itself on offering above-average and dynamic employee benefits including many social events, flexible work schedules, paid vacations, health insurance, and a dog-friendly HQ.
How the Company Helps to Address Impact of COVID-19
Luke's Lobster has helped address the impact of COVID-19 by donating food to several organizations involved in the front-line response, including hospitals in New York City and Portland Maine, and nonprofits such as Project FIND, and Broward Outreach Center. In parts of the country where the company's business is still open, it gives customers the option of donating meals to hospital staff in the front-line (B The Change, 2020). Luke's Lobster has also sent most of its workers on an indefinite paid vacation to prevent them from contracting and spreading the disease. The company is also making an effort to help the coastal community and fishermen continue to earn a living by keeping its remaining few staff working in the trenches.
B The Change. (2020, March 26). How to be a force for good during crisis: B corps focus on community. Medium. https://bthechange.com/how-to-be-a-force-for-good-during-crisis-b-corps-focus-on-community-ce69c7e76c35
Benefit Corporation. (2020). Benefit corporations & certified B corps. What is a Benefit Corporation? | Benefit Corporation. https://benefitcorp.net/businesses/benefit-corporations-and-certified-b-corps?_ga=2.61640869.861147889.1547660853-1216924814.1547660853
Kocollari, U. (2018). Benefit corporations. Strategic Corporate Responsibility, 125-144. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429446863-5Luke's Lobster. (2020). Our purpose. Luke's Lobster | Traceable, Sustainable Seafood. https://www.lukeslobster.com/purpose/
Schiller, B. (2017, March 30). Should your company be a benefit corporation, a B Corp, or what? Fast Company. https://www.fastcompany.com/3069192/should-my-company-be-a-benefit-corporation-a-b-corp-or-what
Storperapril, J. (2018, July 11). What's the difference between a B Corp and a benefit corporation? Conscious Company. https://consciouscompanymedia.com/sustainable-business/whats-the-difference-between-a-b-corp-and-a-benefit-corporation/
Tysiac, K. (2018, January 29). Skills that help accounting professionals succeed alongside AI. Journal of Accountancy. https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2018/jan/accounting-skills-to-succeed-alongside-artificial-intelligence-201818267.html
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