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The financial crash in 2008 reduced the UK economy by 5.2%. And the rescue of major banks – in particular RBS and Lloyds – added to national debt; higher unemployment led to higher welfare payments.

The steady economic growth since that period is now looking rocky due the vote to leave the European Union (2016) and the 2017 General Election.

Technology and change

Public services are making use of outsourcing, Big Data and data analytics. While these changing approaches and greater use of new technologies create opportunities for rethinking existing service models, the risks associated with them must be managed. These include cyber security - the scale of this problem was graphically illustrated by the vulnerability of NHS trusts to ransomware attacks in May 2017.

Reporting skills

The UK is a leader in the development of financial reporting in both the private and public sectors.

This places even more emphasis on the need for the modern professional accountant to have extremely well developed communication skills.