Top 10 Best-read articles of 2023

5 January 2024

ESG reigning supreme

The top ten of last year's best-read articles covers a wide range of topics, providing valuable insights, thought-provoking viewpoints, and practical advice. 

One topic reigned supreme in 2023: ESG, with five articles in our top ten exploring sustainability reporting implementation, challenges beyond compliance, data captation, and the impact of sustainability in diverse industries, including the diamond industry. 

Other highlights were TriFinance's 21st anniversary; our survey on the freelance market; an interview with Expert Practice Leader Risk Annemie Pelgrims on the evolution of the Internal Audit mandate; Financial Institutions Gwen De Bruyn's growth story, and Emre Ozden's instruction video on how to integrate a live Power BI report into your PowerPoint presentations. Enjoy reading, and best wishes for a prosperous and fulfilling 2024!

#1. Sustainability beyond compliance: 10 lessons learned on the implementation journey

[Article] 'Sustainability reporting is a game-changer in driving transformation', ESG reporting expert Mario Matthys says. ESG is more than just data collection, actually shaping a company's DNA. Executives must be well-versed in ESG requirements. Otherwise, an untrained board or leadership team could be a sustainability risk in itself. Mario shares ten lessons from the implementation journey.

#2. "ESG reporting is not a compliance project"

[Article] In anticipation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), Mario Matthys and Maarten Lauwaert explore the strategic benefits for organizations as they delve into challenges of ESG data collection and integration. Stressing the increasing complexity of sustainability reporting, the article offers a comprehensive guide on CSRD timelines, criteria, and expert advice, emphasizing the pivotal role of Finance departments.

#3. TriFinance turns 21. How we celebrate putting employees first since 2002

[Article ] TriFinance has always been a family business that likes to do things differently. Since 2002, we've been putting employees first, and that's something we're proud of. So, it was time to celebrate in 2023. On Friday May 12, we shared this milestone with all employees during an exceptional day and night in Amsterdam ー the city of our headquarters. It’ was also a key moment for founder Gert Smit, who stepped down as chairman of the board.

#4. HB Antwerp: disrupting the diamond industry

[Client story] In a quest to revolutionize the diamond industry, HB Antwerp has emerged as a disruptive force. Despite being a young company, it has already made remarkable strides toward achieving its ambitious goals. With a vision of operating in a sustainable manner, HB Antwerp ensures a direct and transparent journey from mine to market. The company's unique blockchain-based system stores over 3,000 data points per stone, offering unparalleled transparency.

#5. Survey on freelance and interim management trends

[Survey] In recent years, finding assignments has become easier for freelancers, with 75 percent securing a new assignment within a month. We also see more women joining the freelance market. Clients choose freelancers based on experience, attitude, and industry knowledge. While fees still matter, their significance has diminished amid the talent crunch. Our 2023 survey on freelance trends provides insightful data and expert opinions on trends, challenges, and future expectations.

#6. A rollercoaster of challenges and opportunities

[Growth story] This is the story of Gwen De Bruyn, Project Consultant at Financial Institutions. During his first five years at TriFinance, Gwen evolved from managing workloads at a Belgian private bank to becoming a Project Manager focused on distribution channel expansion.
Gwen highlights his roles in finance, process improvement, and business analysis, emphasizing the importance of being integrated into client teams, all the while showcasing his skills in financial administration, process improvement, and project management

#7. The evolution of the Internal Audit mandate

[Interview] In this interview, Expert Practice Leader Risk Annemie Pelgrims, discusses the evolving role of Internal Audit. With her extensive expertise in internal audit, internal control, and risk management, and a keen eye for emerging challenges, Annemie explains how she is dedicated to changing the perception of Internal Audit from a policing function to a role of strategic business advisor. Learn how rolling risk assessments, high-impact internal audits, data analytics, and process optimization can drive positive change and support strategic decision-making in your organization.

#8. The inconvenient side of ESG investing

[Blog post] The surge in sustainable investments from retail investors has prompted financial institutions to offer a variety of green funds. However, this growth is accompanied by an increase in greenwashing practices, as revealed by an investigation into European dark green funds. The SFDR regulation lacks clear rules on fund composition, leading to discrepancies between fund descriptions and actual practices. New reporting rules from the European Commission aim to enhance transparency, but will they be effective?

#9. How much chemistry is there between cities and companies?

[Panel Discussion] Explore the intersection of sustainability strategies between city authorities and private companies with Nils Vanantwerpen, Directeur Ruimte at the City of Roeselare, Davy Declerq, Head of Sustainability at allnex, and TriFinance Client Partner Filip Ceulemans. The discussion covers sustainability's checkbox perception, divergent government and private company approaches, the influence of customers/citizens on sustainability pace, potential neglect of the social element ('S' in ESG), and more

#10. How to integrate a live Power BI report into your PowerPoint presentations

[Instruction video] Power BI reports can be easily integrated into PowerPoint presentations. In this brief blog post and instruction video, MI&S Project Consultant Emre Ozden shows you how. It will take you only five minutes to learn how to add a full live Power BI report to your PowerPoint presentation without losing interactivity.