Green Accounting

Location: Burleigh Heads, QLD

Duration: 4 months

Project Background

The international business community and government have become increasingly focused on social issues, culture and environment. Many firms are hinging vision statements around impact and seeking business relationships with firms espousing positive social credentials.

A business’ financial position is already quantifiable. Our vision is to simultaneously make measuring a business’ environmental impact quantifiable while normal accounting is undertaken.

Operationally every purchase has an environmental impact “cost”. A product that is ethically or sustainably sourced has less impact than a product that is not. For this project we would develop scales to derive a numeric impact cost for purchases. These “costs” would be offset against impact “credits” from initiatives such as solar, employing people with disabilities, recycling etc to be extrapolated to a numeric value. Utilising the API capability of accounting packages, such as Xero, a business should be able to extract an impact report. An impact statement can be used as a comparable baseline by management, shareholders and business partners.

The project would involve collaboration with our environmental professionals, financial professionals and community to develop impact scales and effective data entry and reporting protocols.

Research to be Conducted

Stage 1 of the project would involve familiarisation with the API protocols and requirements of Xero accounting software. The student should also have consideration for similar programs within the marketplace so as not to preclude extended use of the final product to third parties in that space.

Stage 2 would be initial scoping of the solution. This will include collaborating with our environmental professionals and community together with independent research. At conclusion of stage 2 the student will have identified appropriate parameters for extrapolating impact scale costs and credits to numerical data.

Stage 3 would be mapping of data entry and reporting. This will include collaborating with our accounts team and finance professionals. At conclusion of stage 3 the student will have identified efficient methodology for data entry and framework for reporting.

Stage 4 is initial development of the API solution and would include seeking ongoing feedback from stakeholders.

Stage 5 would be testing and presentation of the beta solution to stakeholders for feedback.

Stage 6 would include incorporating fixes and updates, final testing and development of appropriate documentation.

Skills Required

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

  • A great attitude and ability to innovate in a team environment
  • Proficiency in API program development
  • Ability to seek information, input and collaborate from different stakeholder groups
  • Passion for the environment and an understanding of financial/environmental management reporting

Expected Outcomes

Stage 1 the student will independently research program requirements and develop a framework using best practice. Protocols will allow for ongoing upgrades and development.

Stage 2 the student will be given appropriate overview of information to be considered in extrapolating numerical value for costs and credits. The student will identify any gaps in information and be proactive to seek out necessary information from appropriate stakeholders.

Stage 3 the student will have opportunity to observe and assess data entry and reporting protocols. During this time the student will be forming a model of the API.

Stage 4 will be the largest block of the project being independent development. Stakeholders should be strategically invited for testing and feedback as the API progresses.

Stage 5 would be a formal presentation where a working API with appropriate sample data would be worked giving stakeholders the opportunity to assess the work product and provide feedback. Additional features or modifications may be identified at this time.

At the conclusion of Stage 6, professional working documents setting out features and benefits, overviewing methodology for calculations, simple user training and system maintenance will be complete.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

 5 February 2020


APR – 1298