ACCA finance director calls for shift in priorities to rebuild the economy

Global finance chief promotes sustainability over short-term profit

The finance director of the world’s leading professional accountancy body has called on business leaders to choose long-term viability over short-term profit in recovery from Covid-19.

Raymond Jack, from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), told an audience of senior UK executives that sustainable growth is key to rebuilding the economy.

‘That means building businesses and economies that are focused on long-term viability, not just short-term gains,’ he said. 

‘It means building economies and social systems - including health services – that are inoculated against shocks, crises and, yes, even pandemics.’

Mr Jack told the sixth annual UK Finance Leaders’ Summit that 2020 would be remembered as the toughest in the last century for anybody leading a business.

He said: ‘If we were to compile a list of the toughest years in the last century to be a leader in finance, a few would stand out. 1929 and the Wall Street Crash would be there obviously. 1973 and the oil crisis maybe. 2008 and the global banking emergency absolutely.

‘But really, for millions of people all over the world, 2020 has made those times look like the days of wine and roses in comparison. In the past few months thousands of businesses have closed through no fault of their own. Lives and livelihoods have been destroyed. Businesses have faced the mounting catastrophes of zero cash flow; fractured supply chains; and a crash in consumer confidence.’

Yet Mr Jack sounded a note of optimism for 2021. He said: ‘We are still living and working through restrictions, and we can look ahead to the new year with cautious confidence, with - we hope - effective vaccines ready to appear over the crest of the hill to vanquish the virus. 

‘It is important that we stay focused on what is important in our jobs, in our businesses and in our lives, for our families and as citizens.’

The online Finance Leaders’ Summit, hosted by Real Deals Media, focused on operational, technological and strategic aspects of the finance function in growing businesses. 


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About ACCA
ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 future members based in 176 countries and regions that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.

We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.

Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.

Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us for tomorrow. Find out more about us at



"It is important that we stay focused on what is important in our jobs, in our businesses and in our lives, for our families and as citizens."

Raymond Jack, exective director - finance - ACCA