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PAIB eNews: January 2014

Jan 23, 2014 | New York, New York | English

Welcome to IFAC’s Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee eNews on Finance Leadership and Development.

PAIB Committee Releases Financial Leadership Discussion Paper

The IFAC Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee has issued a Discussion Paper, The Role of a CFO: A Global Debate on Preparing Accountants for Finance Leadership, to stimulate discussion on preparing accountants for finance leadership roles, including chief financial officer (CFO). Five principles highlight the changing expectation, scope, and mandate of the CFO and finance leadership roles. The paper recommends what actions professional accountancy organizations and employers can take to prepare professional accountants for career progression to finance leadership. These principles and recommended actions raise awareness of the implications for the education, training, and development of professional accountants.

Those interested in participating in this global debate on finance leadership can submit their comments electronically through the IFAC website, using the “Summit a Comment” button on the Discussion Paper page. Comments are requested by March 17, 2014.

An At a Glance summary and a collection of related resources were released along with the Discussion Paper and are available online.

Global Knowledge Gateway: New IFAC Resource Center Launching Soon

IFAC is thrilled to introduce an exciting new development for the IFAC website: IFAC’s Global Knowledge Gateway, a portal for accountancy news, views, resources, and thought leadership from IFAC, its member organizations, and other notable groups and individuals. The Gateway answers the call for IFAC to better leverage its position as the global accountancy organization. Launching in the first quarter of 2014, the Gateway will be a place for professional accountants to access high-quality resources; learn about emerging areas of the profession like sustainability and integrated reporting; stay connected to the most pressing accountancy issues and news of the day; and interact by exchanging views, making recommendations, and sharing what they find with their own social networks.

ACCA, IMA Launch Financial Leadership Website

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) launched a dedicated website for financial leadership and performance (, which includes resources on starting a career in finance, mid-career options, and becoming and being a CFO. Recent reports include:

  • Future Pathways to Financial Leadership looks at how the future role of the CFO is expected to evolve and the career experiences likely to be most beneficial to the next generation of CFOs.
  • Digital Darwinism presents the top 10 technology trends that will have the potential to significantly reshape the business and accountancy landscape.
New Competency Crisis Website Launched by IMA

In response to what it sees as a competency crisis, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has launched a new website “designed to encourage discourse focused on the issue of the talent gap in the accounting profession; spur action dedicated to finding solutions; and create a community among professionals, students, employers, and academics where they can share their views on the crisis.” This new campaign includes a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn, as well as the website,

Communication Key in High-Performing Finance Teams

A recent In the Black article discusses the development of a high-performing finance team, including the view of some that CFOs aren’t focusing sufficiently on building teams that drive success and the “surprising” role individual talent plays in team success. The article says “scientific studies and company analysis have consistently shown that effective communication is pivotal in team performance, directly impacting a company’s bottom line.” In the Black is published by CPA Australia.

Improved Decision Making, Efficiency in Public Sector Finance Leadership Focus of New CIMA Report

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Institute for Government have produced a blueprint for change that will lead to better decision making and increased efficiency in the public sector. Finance Leadership for Government strives to provide a “structure to open debate about the role of financial leadership at the centre of large, devolved organisations, and to support the UK government’s work in building a much stronger corporate leadership model.”

ICAEW Looks at Evolution of Finance Leadership Roles

How has the role a finance director changed over the last 50 years? In a Finance & Management article, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) looks at the role a finance professional plays in a successful, sustainable business and how this role has changed over time. “Finance Director—Then and Now” accesses what has changed and what has stayed the same, and discusses a few of the “must-have” skills for a finance director and others in finance leadership positions.

Innovation and Finance Leadership Connection Explored in New CGMA Report

A new report from CGMA, Managing Innovation: Harnessing the Power of Finance, identifies five areas “where finance leaders can have a critical impact on the way companies commercialize innovative ideas.” CGMA is a joint initiative of the American Institute of CPAs and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. The full report is available to CGMA members only.

Recent ACCA Report Evaluates Financial Leadership and Accountancy in the UK Public Sector

In a new report, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) discusses how finance managers in UK public services are coping with the demands placed on them and how they can demonstrate improved value by providing more effective strategic financial leadership. The Importance of Strategic Financial Leadership in the UK Public Sector in a Time of Financial Austerity finds that “public sector bodies—including local councils, health authorities and hospitals, police, fire, and ambulance services—need to be more proactive in making clear to decision makers the financial costs and benefits of particular courses of action.”

ICAEW: What Can the Public Sector Learn from the Private Sector?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) report, A CFO at the Cabinet Table? Strengthening UK Government Finances for the Future, recommends the UK government appoint a cabinet-level civil servant with financial skills to help improve management of public finances. This appointment would be comparable to a group CFO in the private sector.

Singapore CFO Institute, PwC Weigh in on Technology and the CFO

Technology and the CFO: Focus Group Discussions on Data Security and Business Analysis, published by the Singapore CFO Institute and PwC, investigates the new challenges CFOs face in using new streams of data to accurately provide business forecasts while also mitigating the risk of data exposure.

The Economist to Host CFO Summit in London

The Economist will be hosting the 2014 CFO Summit on March 6, 2014, in London. The conference is a leading annual event that brings together more than 120 senior finance executives to discuss the evolution of the CFO function. Additionally, IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury will be speaking during the event this year. Conference organizers are offering IFAC members, colleagues, and friends a 20% discount on admission (use the code IFAC20 when registering). For more information please visit: or email

IFAC Supports ACCA Research on Corporate Culture

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has undertaken a major international research project investigating corporate culture and what influences individuals’ conduct in organizations. Specifically, the project looks at how behavior can be influenced for the long-term benefit of the company, its owners, and other stakeholders. Early last week, IFAC hosted three ACCA roundtable sessions in New York, allowing experts to exchange views on how corporate culture could be assessed and influenced. A previous roundtable series was held in London; additional roundtables are planned for Brussels, India, and the Middle East. For additional information, contact Paul Moxey, ACCA’s head of corporate governance and risk management, who is leading the research.