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Preparing a Future-Ready Profession

We work to prepare a future-ready accounting profession.

Profound changes in the business ecosystem require professionals to redefine their roles and contribution to society at large. The accounting profession is not immune to these changes.

We play an important role equipping professional accountants and professional accountancy organizations for the future.

Preparing the profession for the future requires an emphasis on implementing a comprehensive, integrated approach to international accountancy education that equips current and future professional accountants with the skills, capabilities and ethical behavior required for an evolving business environment.

We believe the accountancy profession needs to show the younger generation that accounting is an exciting and dynamic opportunity. A dual focus on technology and people development will make finance roles richer and more rewarding.

To advance a future-ready profession, professional accountancy organizations (PAOs), with IFAC’s support, work to:

  • Frequently review and refresh their competency frameworks so that the skills and professional development they provide are relevant and high quality
  • Focus on quality teaching, particularly in emerging topic areas; and
  • Deliver training and support in wider skillsets, particularly for mid-career accountants. This may involve building effective partnerships with other providers who can deliver impactful training opportunities.

There is a strong need to raise awareness of what the future holds.

The future of business is likely to be highly disruptive. There is a strong need to raise awareness of what the future holds.

For example, results of our 2018 survey of over 6,000 small- and medium-sized accounting practices (SMPs), highlight how technology is shaping business models. 78 percent of respondents expect new technologies to affect traditional accounting and finance roles. The rapid increase in accounting automation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also means that these firms can focus more on advisory services.

Roles for accountants in business will also continue to change. A digital, data-driven and resource-constrained world provides enormous opportunity and risk. The CFO and finance function need to help navigate, measure and communicate what matters to long-term success and brand reputation at the same time as dealing with the expectation of investors and boards for short term performance.