Is the Romanian Accountancy Profession Ready for the Future? Yes!

Adriana Florina Popa, Robert Aurelian Sova | March 23, 2020 |

In a world that evolves rapidly, adapting quickly to change is necessary for business’ development and growth, and an imperative for success. In this dynamic context, accountants are influenced by new business models as a consequence of automation and technology developments and by legislative changes—requiring continuous diversification and adaptation.

With these trends in mind, The Body of Expert and Licensed Accountants of Romania (CECCAR) is taking the steps necessary to adapt to new expectations regarding accountants’ skillset and roles. Change is coming—we cannot postpone the inevitable. Which leaves us with the question, are our actions enough to build a sustainable professional accountancy organization for the future?

For CECCAR, the first step was to understand the importance of preparing future-ready accountants. The next step was making accountancy education a strategic priority and guidepost for all our activities. Using an integrated approach, we focused on three areas in 2019.

Attracting new professional accountants

Successfully developing a future-ready accountant begins with the initial professional development of aspiring accountants.

To enhance the attractiveness of the accountancy profession and interest new talent, CECCAR raised awareness of the importance of an education in accountancy, the route to become a professional accountant, and the opportunities offered by the profession through multiple communication platforms, including online messages; career counseling for students at high schools and universities; and interviews with young professionals sharing their experience as members of CECCAR.

To promote the profession among students and recent graduates of economic studies, CECCAR—in collaboration with economic-focused high schools and universities, launched the contest, The Student of Today—The Professional Accountant of Tomorrow, with prizes selected to encourage participants to become accountants.

CECCAR also launched the Forum of Employers, an initiative to inspire dialogue on initial professional development programs. With the tagline We COUNT, together, for financial and accounting education!, the initiative is helping CECCAR to adapt our programs so accountants are able to meet the changing requirements of their employers.

Adapting CECCAR’s Continuous Professional Development Program

Old types of service disappear, new and challenging ones appear.

Accountancy, and the services offered by professional accountants, are undergoing change in Romania. New services are being introduced following the implementation of European Union legislation, such as reporting cross-border tax arrangements as tax intermediaries. Existing services are being updated for future changes in the VAT (value-added tax) system. New national requirements added additional responsibilities, such as practicing as independent experts for fiscal restructuring measures, money laundering reporting obligations, and adoption of the European Single Electronic Format for issuers on EU regulated markets.

To help our members embrace these changes and related opportunities, and in response to the changing business environment, CECCAR updated our continuing professional development program to ensure our members have the necessary skills and competence to keep up with future expectations.

Acknowledging the need to stay connected to worldwide trends in accountancy education, CECCAR continues to embrace and contribute to IFAC’s comprehensive, integrated approach to responding to accountancy education challenges and opportunities posed by a rapidly changing environment. This includes an agreement to translate and publish the revised International Education Standards to ensure alignment between national and international education requirements. In addition, we translated the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, as effective implementation of the Code is essential in building trust and reflecting our responsibility to act in the public interest.

CECCAR also published new literature on forensic accounting, advanced taxation, and performance management, as part of our support for current and aspiring professional accountants. Articles and other text written by CECCAR specialists represent another way in which we promote the quality of the professional accountants’ services and sustain their reputation

Promoting the image of a future-ready profession to the business environment

When things become complicated, a professional accountant is needed.

CECCAR members are more than just professional accountants; they support the development of the businesses with which they collaborate by advising management on long-term value creation, thus contributing to the prosperity and sustainability of these businesses. Building on this, the 2019 Entrepreneurship Week—CECCAR was dedicated to strengthening the relationship between entrepreneurs, professional accountants, and representatives of institutions, regulatory authorities, and employers.

Our stakeholders in the business community continue to emphasize the importance of professional accountants being able to offer specialized services, understand constant legislative changes, and adapt to increasingly complex needs. To support this, CECCAR reconfirmed partnerships with various national employers’ unions and is promoting professional accountants’ reputation through emphasizing their role in dealing with current and future challenges. CECCAR also participated in events organized by county Chambers of Commerce.

Investor in Romania, launched by CECCAR during the Entrepreneurship Week, is an e-guide for entrepreneurs that provides information on macroeconomic perspectives and legislation on finance and accounting, taxation, and labor law. Promoting Romania as a destination for investments, the e-guide provides information on establishing a business in Romania, and promotes the services provided by professional accountants and the importance of partnerships between professional accountants and businesses.

We know that for the success of our Future-ready Accountant Project, there is no time for rest. We agree with IFAC that a long-term vision for accountancy education is necessary, and this will include attracting new and retaining existing members, and increasing the demand for professional accountants by demonstrating their value and agility in the face of change.

We are proud to support accountancy education in Romania—to counsel young people on their careers and represent the accountancy profession in close connection with entrepreneurs, institutions, and regulatory authorities.

Are we ready for the future? Yes, we are building a future-ready profession. Our actions confirm the relevance and sustainability of our organization for the future, as we proactively face new challenges and build on our almost 100-year history.

We are ready for the future because we know the future is now!

 

 

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Adriana Florina Popa

Adriana is coordinator and associate professor at CECCAR National Institute for Initial and Continuous Professional Development and member of the IFAC International Panel on Accountancy Education.

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Robert Aurelian Sova

Robert is President of The Body of Expert and Licensed Accountants of Romania (CECCAR), Full Professor

 

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