Two thirds of senior executives in the Asia-Pacific region and 70% of finance professionals have indentified cyber security as a driver for change in the future based on the increased reliance businesses have on the internet.
Rising fuel and energy costs were also a concern for Asia-Pacific businesses in the short term with 72% of senior executives identifying it as the most important factor for their future plans in the report.
The factor businesses said would be top of their agenda in the medium term – 2016 to 2022 – was the increased need for accountants to take on a business partner role and have a broader skill-set within the company, with 82% of senior executives and 72% of accountants citing it as critical to their future business plans.
The report also shows the growing prominence of non-financial information reporting and integrated reporting in businesses with three-quarters of senior executives who took part in the survey rating it as a major consideration for their future plans to 2022.
The report highlights notable differences between the markets of Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, with Malaysian finance professionals and senior executives being more sensitive to rising fuel and energy costs than other Asia-Pacific countries.
Respondents based in China and Hong Kong, on the other hand, placed more importance on the impact of businesses based in BRIC economies, in particular Brazil and Russia, as their critical driver in the medium term.
China’s accountants and senior executives placed more importance on the rise in the use of carbon taxes and other environmental mechanisms when looking at business development beyond 2023.
As part of a wider global report, more than 550 accountants and business leaders from different sectors across Asia-Pacific markets, including Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, offered their insights into future drivers for change.