A new vision for the future role of accountants is vital to the ongoing development of the profession, stated ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) today at a session discussing Digital Darwinism at the World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) in Rome.
Hosted to discuss the growing impact of new technologies on the business world, the two leading accounting bodies confirmed a commitment to their recently announced accountancy futures research program, which will focus on the future pathway for the profession.
The two organizations' futures collaborations during the last two years already have identified the rapid and often transformational drivers of change affecting the profession, concluding that this has been the beginning of a period of significant evolution for the profession as a whole. This is being driven by new technological capability, an expanded responsibility for finance professionals, and increasing demand for real-time data and insights able to drive business decisions.
In order to shape the future direction of the profession and take advantage of the new opportunities and respond to threats effectively, a focused research program is needed to identify a clear vision for the future finance professional.
The first three projects of this signature program will focus on technologies and data use, looking at social, mobile and cloud computing, Cyber Security, and the flow of data and its management throughout a business. Additionally, there will be an international call for proposals in 2015, engaging major global businesses, practices, academics and educators, members and employers alike in delving further into the future, and identifying topics for further research.
Ewan Willars, director policy at ACCA said: "The pace of change has shifted up a gear, and developments that we could see in the distance are now more rapidly approaching us. This future is full of big opportunities - and some major threats - for the finance profession. This research, and sessions like those at the World Congress, will educate, inform, and elicit debate. After all, research is a powerful tool to advance the value of the profession to all stakeholders."
Raef Lawson, IMA vice president of research and policy, said: "Credible independent research can change the profession - it can transform opinions, inform policy and help to engage the profession itself, businesses, politicians, regulators and the public. What we aim to do with these three projects - and our ongoing work examining the global economy - is to examine current and future issues, challenge opinions, and also offer practical advice and insights for those working in the profession or with them."
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. We support our 170,000 members and 436,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of 91 offices and centers and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. www.accaglobal.com
About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 70,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Middle East/Africa. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org