Jennifer Harrity Named Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting

Jennifer Harrity Named Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting

After several years of advocating the value of ESG consulting services and the opportunity for the accounting profession, Sensiba LLP’s Director of Sustainability Jennifer Harrity has been named to Accounting Today magazine’s prestigious Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting roster.

The Top 100 list celebrates the accomplishments of the accounting industry’s most valuable thought leaders, regulators, and other stakeholders shaping the industry and its future direction. 

The honor comes during a growing acceptance of ESG considerations in risk management, compliance, and reporting among the broader business community, and the resulting opportunities for the accounting profession.

“Earlier this year, I was at the AICPA’s ESG Symposium in New York with about 70 leaders from the accounting world. It was the first time where I was having a serious discussion about ESG where nobody rolled their eyes,” she recalls. “I said to myself, ‘Now they get it.'”

The Accounting Industry’s ESG Opportunity

With growing recognition that sustainability goals need to be integrated into corporate strategy and the enactment of new disclosure requirements for companies, the accounting profession’s experience in helping clients address their risk management and reporting needs is creating opportunities for firms.

“Everyone’s been saying the industry has been shifting from a compliance model to a consulting model,” Harrity says. “ESG is largely a consulting opportunity. There is some compliance to it, because clients are going to have to do the reporting, but accountants need to know how to consult on these issues.”

Sensiba’s Sustainability Journey

Sensiba began investing in providing ESG services and promoting the value of sustainability to our clients, accounting firms, and the business community in 2018. John Sensiba and the partner group recognized the opportunity and tasked Harrity with developing a sustainability practice.

““When our practice launched, the demand and need were uncertain,” Harrity says. “At first, people called me the California hippie chick when I brought up sustainability. We were pioneers in the space, and we’ve been building our practice by seeing what sticks and what doesn’t in the market, knowing that our clients are going to need this. I’m very blessed that John and the partners saw the value here and had the vision to let me do this.”