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 

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For more information, please contact:

Helen Thompson, ACCA Newsroom
+44 (0)20 7059 5759
+44 (0)7725 498654
helen.thompson@accaglobal.com 

Notes to Editors

  1. ACCA’s Competency Framework can be found here via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article 
  2. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 
  3. We support our 154,000 members and 432,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 
  4. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.