What does the future hold for Professional Accountants? This was the main theme that was addressed by the various riveting presentations that we witnessed during our inaugural ACCA ASEAN Conference 2016 on 17 June.
The accountancy profession has always helped to shape and support businesses, other organisations, and economies of all types and sizes. To continue to add value, professional accountants must be able to meet current needs and anticipate emerging demands.
The fast pace of change in digital technologies, the globalisation of business and the tailwinds of the 2008–9 global financial crisis are among many factors that make this particularly challenging.
The accountancy profession will evolve significantly over the period up to 2025. The practice of accounting and the competencies professional accountants required are being reshaped by trends in digital technologies and their impact on business.
To kickstart the conference, ACCA President Alexandra Chin highlighted that ACCA supports the AEC in various capacity-building projects and in assisting to setting standards for the region.
Our Guest of Honour, Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance & Ministry of Law underscored the importance of accountants and lawyers and how they should harness the SYNERGIES of their professional work to forge multi-disciplinary practices. Many opportunities abound, including cross-border restructuring activities.
Mr Guntur Sugiyarto, Senior Economist at Asian Development Bank spoke passionately about the need for skills mobility and showed the evidence why this was so critical to true economic integration within ASEAN. He also emphatically asked us to seize the golden opportunity that the demographic dividend, that comes when the growth of the labour force exceeds population growth.
Mr Patrick Teng, Founder and Executive Chairman of Six Capital, spoke on convincingly about the power and leveraging of crowds to transform businesses and the world.
Professor Gordon Hewitt, Professor at the University of Michigan & Chairman of Six Capital Global Advisory Board, reminded professional accountants that it was more important to close the ‘relevance gap’ than the ‘efficiency gap’ and challenged them to question their dominant logic.
Ms Faye Chua, ACCA’s Head of Future Research, spoke about the 7 quotients that professional accountants will need to have to future-proof themselves. While TEQ, or the Technical and Ethical Quotient is here to stay; and DQ or the digital quotient and IQ are givens; professional accountants will need to pay careful attention to creativity, emotional intelligence, domain experience and visionary skills.
In the afternoon, the plenary panel discussion critically explored how professional accountants can re-skill themselves and acquires the various quotients across ASEAN.
Many panellists drew inspiration from the earlier speakers and elaborated on the implications of what they said. The spectre of the impact of block-chain on professional accountants was brought up and the need for new business models for professional accountants was reiterated.
The need for professional accountants to carefully select relevant continuing professional development courses to future-proof themselves was also highlighted.
At ACCA, we believe that in order to add value, the professional accountant of the future will need an optimal and changing combination of professional; a collection of technical knowledge, skills and abilities, combined with interpersonal behaviours and qualities. By 2020, all professional accountants will need to develop and balance the necessary professional quotients to fit their role and stage of career. Think you have got what it takes? Take our short interactive test to find out: http://thefuture.accaglobal.com/
Download event highlights in pictures here.
Video recordings of some sessions will be made available at a later date, so do keep a lookout for it!