Public interest has been saved
What people expect of business is fundamentally changing, as is the definition of what it means to act in the public interest. In a world of uncertainty, business must help address society’s most intractable problems. Serving the public interest requires going beyond the economic context to include the interplay among business behaviour, financial markets, and the long-term health and sustainability of society and the planet.
Today’s business organisations should see themselves as serving ends that go beyond financial success. Deloitte advocates for every company to define its overarching purpose and offer a clear explanation of how it makes a positive impact in society, not only for shareholders, but also for customers, employees, suppliers, communities and the planet. This reflects Deloitte’s own purpose-led approach, one that’s shared increasingly throughout the business community and articulated by the US Business Roundtable’s statement on the purpose of a corporation. It is important that companies track and report on the results of their efforts to live up to the purposes they define for their enterprises.
Traditionally for organisations that provide audit and assurance services, the concept of public interest focused on providing reliable information for capital markets, specifically around a company’s management, its operating model and internal controls. Deloitte understands that while this remains a critical component, its public interest responsibilities have expanded to include issues such as sustainability and societal impact.
Consistent with its commitment to purpose and to act in the public interest, Deloitte aims to be transparent about nonfinancial measures of business performance and provides disclosure of wider environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. Deloitte shares these public interest metrics through the lens of its services, people and operations, as well as its impact on society.
Deloitte’s commitment to responsible business underlies everything we do. It’s more than just doing the right thing; it’s about using our spheres of influence to foster respect and illustrate how we live our Purpose and Shared Values through the company we keep to make an impact. This is articulated in Our Commitment to Responsible Business Practices statement, which outlines our beliefs and the commitments we have made.
Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, risk and financial advisory services around the world—always striving to act in the public interest, exercise the highest ethical standards and deliver the highest-quality services. Following are some examples of how these services benefit the public interest.
Deloitte provides audit and assurance services that serve the public interest by enabling trust and transparency across and between stakeholders in the financial reporting ecosystem. Deloitte’s independent auditors help the capital markets system function with greater confidence, attesting to or expressing opinions as to whether financial statements, internal controls and regulatory reports are prepared in accordance with identified financial reporting frameworks.
Deloitte is committed to constant enhancement of relevant and reliable audit processes that are increasingly essential to investor confidence and to the ongoing vitality of capital markets. Audit quality remains a top priority and key focus for Deloitte. Ongoing investments in audit quality, transformation, innovation and technology demonstrates Deloitte’s commitment to fulfilling its public interest role and enhancing trust.
Deloitte helps businesses be compliant by guiding them through rapidly changing and complex domestic and international tax laws.
Deloitte practitioners’ advice is subject to high ethical standards, rigorous quality control and technical reviews, the Deloitte Global Code of Conduct, and local professional standards. As part of ensuring the quality, consistency and integrity of our advice, Deloitte has developed global tax principles that are adhered to by our tax practitioners around the world.
Deloitte tax practitioners also contribute to the public interest by providing pro bono tax services to charitable organisations globally that support poverty relief, humanitarian efforts, refugee mentoring, higher education and many other critical areas. For example, Deloitte Canada practitioners prepared tax returns for approximately 300 front-line health care workers on a pro bono basis.
Deloitte forensic advisers help companies and governments combat the trillions of dollars of damage wrought by fraud, economic and financial crime. In the last five years, Deloitte has handled more than 15,000 fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) investigations and financial crime engagements to help clients proactively identify and respond to malfeasance; implement systems to monitor and detect issues; and quickly and efficiently address incidents. By stopping bad actors from accessing illegal funds, Deloitte helps stem the tide of terrorist financing, drug and human trafficking, wildlife exploitation, counterfeit goods manufacturing and abuse of the health care system.
In the Infrastructure and Capital Projects sector, Deloitte oversees billions of dollars of construction projects, assists clients on green-energy transformation efforts, and works side-by-side with public and private clients to develop infrastructure needed to support COVID-19 testing to improve the health, infrastructure and environmental impact in the world.
Deloitte hires someone new every eight minutes around the world. Once hired, we go to extraordinary lengths to support our people, and are especially committed to making efforts toward increasing gender representation at all levels across Deloitte. We believe that working with people of different backgrounds, cultures and thinking styles helps our people grow into better professionals and leaders.
Deloitte is committed to making an impact that matters on society. Through Deloitte’s WorldClass ambition, we are focusing on developing job skills, improving educational outcomes, and creating opportunities for those left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our ambition is to empower 50 million people worldwide by 2030.
Deloitte’s commitment to sustainability drives us to manage our operations responsibly and champion environmentally sustainable initiatives across the organisation globally. We believe we must lead the way to build a better, stronger and more sustainable world. WorldClimate, Deloitte’s climate change strategy, was formulated in FY2020 to focus the organisation on making responsible climate choices. Four pillars support the strategic direction:
- Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030;
- Addressing Deloitte’s internal policies and procedures to align with its climate ambitions;
- Educating and inspiring Deloitte people to act on climate change; and
- Working with ecosystems for collective impact.