By Faye Chua, head of future research, ACCA
Following on from the release of the Drivers of change research report ACCA Council member, Kholeka Mzondeki, spoke to us about what she saw as the ‘must do’ activities for both the accountancy profession and businesses, to stay successful in the next 5 to 10 years.
The accountancy profession needs to establish trust and ethical leadership
The profession needs to be seen to be addressing clear public concerns of trust and ethical leadership. According to the research conducted, there is a perception that the profession could do more to highlight and prevent everything from small-scale financial irregularities through to the major systemic failures that helped cause the global financial crisis and the ensuing economic uncertainty.
The focus needs to shift from rule conformance to genuine compliance with the spirit of regulation. The shift will be challenging, given the scale of impending regulation that many of our contributors have identified. The ethical remit has clear implications for both the training and continuing professional development of accountants and for the design of core internal audit and accounting processes.
Pressures are increasing on the accountancy profession to strengthen its public image and go beyond current financial reporting practices to provide a more transparent, simplified but holistic picture of a firm’s health and prospects.
For ACCA, delivering public value means working in the public interest, promoting responsible and ethical business and supporting enhanced global economic performance.
The business world needs to develop a curious, experimental and adaptable mindset
The pace of business change and the rate of growth of operational complexity can render changes obsolete before they have even been implemented. Hence, organisations must learn to balance the focusing effect of a clear long-term vision with the pragmatism of a flexible implementation approach. There is a clear need for operational flexibility and adaptability in the choice of strategies and tactics adopted to achieve the desired outcomes. For many, this means adopting asset-light business models. It also requires a willingness to experiment continuously with everything from product and service design through to revenue models and distribution channels.
A critical success factor in this new order is developing a culture that is genuinely curious about the world and open to new ideas from outside the organisation. Such cultures must also foster and reward a willingness to enter into new working relationships across the entire network of customers, suppliers, partners and competitors that define the modern business ‘ecosystem’.
Find out more about ACCA’s Drivers of change research.