ACCA unveils a new competency framework for complete finance professionals | ACCA Global
ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
The Competency Framework highlights the abilities which aspiring finance professionals must have if they are to meet the requirements of potential future employers. ACCA has always been committed to ensuring that its qualification meets the needs of every sector in every region of the world, and the Competency Framework brings these together. It not only serves as a checklist for students but as a clear demonstration to employers that those with the ACCA Qualification are Complete Finance Professionals
—Helen Brand OBE, chief executive, ACCA

10 key competencies for complete finance professionals identified by ACCA in new Competency Framework

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has introduced an interactive checklist of competencies which business leaders require from aspiring finance professionals.

For the first time, the global body for professional accountants has published an online competency framework, highlighting the ten key competencies finance professionals must have if they are to succeed in business and their career.  

The ACCA Qualification comprehensively covers these abilities and behaviours through its exams, practical experience requirement and the ethics module. 

ACCA has identified the following 10 key competencies for complete finance professionals in its new Competency Framework:

  1. professionalism and ethics 
  2. governance, risk and control 
  3. stakeholder relationship management 
  4. strategy and innovation  
  5. leadership and management 
  6. corporate reporting 
  7. sustainable management accounting 
  8. financial management 
  9. audit and assurance 
    and
  10. taxation.

The Competency Framework will enable employers, learning providers, current and potential students to see the key competencies which are learned through the ACCA Qualification and how they relate to the requirements of different jobs. 

Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA, says: 'A competency is defined as a fundamental knowledge, ability or expertise in a specific subject area or a specific behaviour. The ACCA Qualification addresses all the key competencies required by finance professionals, from performance and financial management and taxation, to Islamic Finance; and the principles of Integrated Reporting.

'We have developed this competency framework to ensure that aspiring finance professionals, employers and tuition providers are clear about the key skills demanded in an increasingly globalised and rapidly changing business environment.'

A survey of more than 500 chief financial officers for ACCA’s report, The complete finance professional 2013: Why breadth and depth of finance matter in today’s finance function, identified the key financial areas that CFOs said they need in the finance function. 

Apart from the need for accounting professionals to behave and act ethically and professionally, financial management and financial analysis were seen as particularly high-impact areas, followed closely by governance risk and control, strategic management accounting and corporate reporting. Internal audit, tax advice and planning were also widely considered to have considerable impact. 

Helen Brand concludes: 'The Competency Framework highlights the abilities which aspiring finance professionals must have if they are to meet the requirements of potential future employers. ACCA has always been committed to ensuring that its qualification meets the needs of every sector in every region of the world, and the Competency Framework brings these together. It not only serves as a checklist for students but as a clear demonstration to employers that those with the ACCA Qualification are Complete Finance Professionals.'

To highlight the Competency Framework, and the business need behind the complete finance professional, ACCA has gathered opinions from 21 global finance professionals, a selection of which can be found on ACCA’s website. Interviewees include:

- Dr Xu Yugao, Executive Vice President and CFO, CNOOC EnerTech in China 

- Robert Bizzell FCCA, Director, Finance and Business Services, Tata Steel Strip Products , UK 

- Simon Robson, FCCA, Finance Director, Commercial Group BskyB UK 

  • ACCA’s Competency Framework can be found here via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article