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CPA Canada, ICAS, IESBA and IFAC Release Fourth and Final Publication in Series Exploring Ethics in an Era of Complexity and Digital Change

Mindset and Enabling Skills of Professional Accountants – A Competence Paradigm Shift explores how the accountancy profession can stay relevant in a time of unprecedented change

Apr 28, 2022 | English

The current environment of rapid technological change continues to impact the way organizations operate, presenting both opportunities and challenges. The accountancy profession is not immune to this disruption and is also in the process of being transformed. This is according to a new thought leadership publication developed by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The publication highlights the need for the profession to redefine its value proposition, build new skills for the future and complete a competence paradigm shift in order to remain relevant.

Mindset and Enabling Skills of Professional Accountants – A Competence Paradigm Shift recognizes that the accountancy profession has a strong foundation to build on, but an enhanced technological literacy is essential in the information age. A shift in professional accountants’ education and training is needed to reflect emerging opportunities, with upskilling and “evergreen” learning becoming more important than ever. The profession needs to adopt a mindset that continually challenges and leads to an evolution of skills more rapidly than in the past, to harness the opportunities of the changing world and meet the needs of society.

Mindset and Enabling Skills of Professional Accountants – A Competence Paradigm Shift completes a four-part thought leadership series stemming from a collaborative exploratory paper and global roundtable event called Ethical Leadership in an Era of Complexity and Digital Change, which CPA Canada, ICAS and IFAC jointly hosted early in 2021.  It follows three earlier publications - Complexity and the Professional Accountant: Practical Guidance for Ethical Decision-Making, Technology is a Double-Edged Sword: Opportunities and Challenges for the Accountancy Profession, and Identifying and Mitigating Bias and Mis- and Disinformation.

The publication is available on the IFAC Knowledge Gateway and the IESBA’s webpage Technology: Ethics & Independence Considerations.


About CPA Canada
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) works collaboratively with the provincial, territorial and Bermudian CPA bodies, as it represents the Canadian accounting profession, both nationally and internationally. This collaboration allows the Canadian profession to champion best practices that benefit business and society, as well as prepare its members for an ever-evolving operating environment featuring unprecedented change. Representing more than 220,000 members, CPA Canada is one of the largest national accounting bodies worldwide.

About ICAS
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is the global professional body for Chartered Accountants. We educate, examine and lead, enabling excellence whilst always working for the wider public good. All 23,000 ICAS members have earned our world-class CA designation of Chartered Accountant, the qualification that’s shaped an international business community spanning industries and continents, full of local heroes and corporate leaders. And we continually foster the bonds between our members, so CAs at all stages of their careers can learn from shared experience and connect their ambitions to success. For further information please visit –


The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is an independent global standard-setting board. The IESBA’s mission is to serve the public interest by setting ethics standards, including auditor independence requirements, which seek to raise the bar for ethical conduct and practice for all professional accountants through a robust, globally operable International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code).

About IFAC

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. Comprised of 180 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, IFAC represents more than 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce.

Over four decades, IFAC has represented the global profession and supported the development, adoption, and implementation of international standards that underpin the contributions of today’s global accountancy profession. IFAC has maintained a long-term approach to building and strengthening a global accountancy profession that supports transparent, accountable, and sustainable organizations, financial markets, and economies.