ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
While we cannot predict the future, we can make very good guesses so we are all prepared as we can be. Some examples we illustrate include the demand for higher-level business and management skills amongst finance professionals; technological advancements and their effect on learning; the demand from international accounting firms as well as other multinationals for uniform professional accounting qualifications - at least in respect of non-regulated functions; the convergence of accounting and auditing standards on an international basis; and the demand from growing economies such as China for professional accountants
—Professor Barry Cooper, deputy president, ACCA

ACCA’s upcoming president discusses the next generation of accountants

Professor Barry J Cooper, who in a few months will become the President of ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), has written a chapter about the future of the accountancy profession, in a high level publication jointly produced by The Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability (CAGS) at the University of South Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. 

The publication is part of the University’s esteemed Academic Leadership series, which brings the key issues in Australian accounting education to the fore.

ACCA’s chapter looks to the future, and details a number of emerging pathways for the next generation of accountants, in the context of six key areas. These include ACCA’s history and background; its current vision; future trends and emerging pathways; integration of ethics into the ACCA qualification framework; integrated reporting; and the impact of technology on education and learning.

Professor Cooper says: 'It was an immense privilege to be asked to contribute to this esteemed journal, and I would like to thank my colleague at ACCA, Mike Walsh, for his insights in co-authoring this chapter. By offering its qualifications worldwide ACCA has grown, especially in the last 20 years. It is critical for ACCA to be focussed on what employers value and what employees need. Supporting members with a qualification that makes them desirable in the workplace is at the heart of ACCA’s on-going goal.'

ACCA’s input to the journal also highlights that ACCA’s original founding values, established in 1904, still stand today – namely to provide opportunity to all people of merit and application, regardless of their background. The five core values that resonate with members, students and ACCA staff around the world are highlighted in the report, those of opportunity, integrity, diversity, innovation and accountability. 

The chapter ends by saying that the growth of the accountancy profession is subject to several variables, some of which are unpredictable. 

Professor Cooper concludes: 'While we cannot predict the future, we can make very good guesses so we are all prepared as we can be. Some examples we illustrate include the demand for higher level business and management skills amongst finance professionals; technological advancements and their effect on learning; the demand from international accounting firms as well as other multinationals for uniform professional accounting qualifications - at least in respect of non-regulated functions; the convergence of accounting and auditing standards on an international basis; and the demand from growing economies such as China for professional accountants.' 

The journal sets out the pathways that have emerged and will continue to emerge with respect to the ACCA qualification, as it continues to position itself as a major global force in the education and training of accountants throughout the world.

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For more information, please contact:

Lali Sindi 
External Relations Manager, ACCA
tel: + 44 (0) 207 059 5643
mob: +44 (0) 7921 698085
Lali.sindi@accaglobal.com 

Notes to Editors

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.