More and more companies are accepting lower profit margins in return for a positive impact on the world. Corporate social responsibility is the practice of operating a business while simultaneously attempting to impact the environment and community. Specifically, companies enact corporate social responsibility to positively impact social, environmental, cultural, and ethical spheres during the course of their business. There are a number of ways you can help your clients shift their operations to impact these spheres.
Contributing to Protected Classes
The same can be said regarding your client’s spending. Analyze the companies your client works with, and report how many are owned or managed by women, minorities, or other protected classes. Uphold corporate responsibility by working only with companies whose ideals align with your clients. You control the general ledger and sub-ledgers, so you know who your client pays, contracts with, and is involved with. Use an aging schedule to see which vendors have been recently used, and perform research on these companies’ corporate social responsibility plans.
Embracing Equitable Pay and Conditions
Providing equitable conditions also pertains to your client’s payroll. Analyze spending trends on staff to ensure equitable treatment across positions regardless of race, age, or gender. This goes beyond the amount of money each staff member is paid. Instead, look at a holistic view that incorporates benefits, vacation, sick days, retirement contributions, and insurance.
To ensure social and cultural responsibility, pull information and compile results based on customer demographics. Your client may be investing in specific communities without realizing the underlying social sphere to which it is contributing. Look at the sales and accounts receivable sub-ledgers to make a customer profile. There is a delicate balance between balancing your client’s political beliefs with those of its customers. Still, getting a sense of who your client serves is a great platform to begin planning ways to positively impact the community.
Planning to Go Green
If your client is hoping to develop a plan to go green, help formulate that plan by communicating manufacturing cost trends. Report waste produced during the manufacturing process. Research the cost of alternative materials and the feasibility of using these goods if they are more expensive. Compile reports on how much the company spends on utilities. During the course of developing the corporate social responsibility plan, your client may also want to know what it spends on noneconomically friendly marketing and office supplies that come from recycled materials.
Corporate Social Responsibility Score Report
Work with your client to develop metrics to evaluate the social responsibility aspect of its business. Your client may wish to attain a certain number of customers with specific demographics or reduce the number of vendors that partake in specific activities. In these cases, you can pull periodic reports to track its progress toward social goals, impacts made on the environment, and ethical matters. Although the process will never be fully complete, your report on the matters above help move your client in the best direction.
Practicing corporate social responsibility is a major step for some small businesses. As you help your clients develop their plans to make the shift, take note of the vendors, customers, and expenses of your client. From there, you can help shift your client’s business practices and make a positive impact on the world.