ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is proud to support the Business Compact on Social Mobility. As a leading professional body for accountants, and as an employer, ACCA has long been committed to opening up access to the accountancy profession, enabling people to embark on rewarding employment opportunities regardless of their background.
ACCA welcomes the impetus that the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement will give to social mobility in the UK.
“ACCA was founded in 1904 with the express aim of opening up access to the accountancy profession,” says Neil Stevenson, executive director – brand at ACCA. “Our aim now, as it was then, is to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds, removing artificial barriers to entry while meeting the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. As the global body for professional accountants, diversity and opportunity are the core values that guide everything we do.”
Social mobility is a strong policy focus for ACCA. ACCA’s recent policy briefing Climbing the Ladder: ACCA and Social Mobility called for change, saying that widening access to the finance professions can only be achieved if all those involved in the process of qualifying professionals adopt values that truly break down barriers to entry. Careers advice is also crucial, so that it informs, guides, and engages young people about the benefits of professional qualifications - not just accountancy.
ACCA is delighted to have been invited to support a project so close to its core values. It will work hard to honour the pledge through its work with schools to promote accountancy as career; by working with the 8,500 employers globally who choose to train their staff through the range of ACCA qualifications; and as an employer by recruiting openly and fairly, ensuring non-discriminatory practices.
ACCA’s ongoing work on social mobility was highlighted as an example of ‘best practice’ by the Cabinet Office’s Access to Professions Panel in 2009, and ACCA offers a number of flexible routes to accountancy qualifications, from the new Foundations in Accountancy suite of qualifications through to exemptions that are available for the ACCA Qualification itself.
Neil Stevenson concludes: “We look forward to putting the Compact into practice and we hope that it has a tangible impact on access to professions and jobs in the UK. This is a task that will require dedication and hard work, but ACCA believes that increased diversity and mobility in the UK will enhance business performance.”