ACCA: Economic growth, talent, responsiveness key for accountants

Friday 23 December 2016

The UK accountancy sector is undergoing significant change at the moment, as the country looks to start negotiations on leaving the European Union. 

Ever since the referendum, the economy has been left waiting to see how the move will affect professionals and whether businesses will need to adjust their forecasts if and when the departure from the bloc is confirmed. 

Along with EU uncertainty, industries face struggles of their own every year, including talent acquisition and growth. 

With this in mind, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has identified economic growth, quality and availability of global talent and leader responsiveness as the three key drivers of change in the global accountancy sector. 

In its report Drivers of change in the public sector, the group looked at the factors affecting the public sector between now and 2021, ranging from issues such as governance and strategy to operations and talent development. 

Economic growth was viewed as the top driver of change, followed by the global talent pool, while business leader responsiveness was deemed to be the third most important driver. 

Stephen Emasu, chair of ACCA’s global forum for the public sector says: "The scale and pace of change in the public sector is accelerating like never before. Effective governments need to understand which issues should be their top priorities and when they are likely to impact in order to benefit their country’s public sector.”

Mr Emasu went on to say that it is unsurprising that economic growth is the top driver of change, as it is a vital measure of a country’s health and prosperity. 

He also commented on the need for a strong talent pool, noting that attracting people with the right abilities is a “long-term challenge” and more work will be necessary in order to close the talent gap seen across the world. 

Helen Brand OBE, chief executive at ACCA, added to the discussion by stating how drivers of change are helping the public sector to evolve. Ms Brand believes it is an exciting time to be a public sector accountant, explaining that professionals can assist in providing strong services for the future and offering value for money. 

She went on to say that accountants will need to adapt to change by developing their technical and specialist skills, while also working on new attributes to tackle new challenges in the industry.

By Victoria McDonnell

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