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At ACCA, it is our commitment to provide the most-needed thought-leadership resources for our members’ continuous learning and development, supporting them and their businesses to think ahead and thrive in an uncertain future.

By facing the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, it is more crucial than ever for ACCA to facilitate sharing of knowledge and insights and optimise our regional strength across Asia Pacific – thanks to our vast membership and business community that spans across industries and geographies – to offer a regional Thought Leadership Virtual Forum series covering key areas of concern over the pandemic and recovery.

On-demand webinars

Watch the ACCA Asia Pacific Thought Leadership Virtual Forum series available - now on demand! 

  • Generating AI: making us smarter, faster or redundant?

    (This webinar was held on 26 October 2023)

    The world is abuzz with ChatGPT. But really it is about the substance – Generative AI and not a particular brand of it. Generative AI has been around for a while, and it has only gotten better. To some extent, its limitations are influenced by our own imagination and creativity in using its ‘prompts’ – or in simpler terms – whether we are asking the right questions?

    Time and again we hear about how Technology is replacing people.. yet the world has seen greater job displacement from past financial and COVID-related crises. Will this time be different, however? We keep hearing about the need for accountants to upskill themselves on technology, but this isn’t easy. How do we go about it?

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  • Accounting for Society's Value

    (This webinar was held on 25 May 2023)

    This may be an extreme statement – however of all the components of the ESG agenda the 'S' is less well defined but increasingly more important to organisations. The agenda itself is broad and includes many aspects of well-being, inclusion and equity. Finance leaders are increasingly responsible for organisation wide human capital issues – as such it is appropriate and timely to explore this subject and how it impacts organisation.

    The forum will highlight the key findings from ACCA’s Accounting for Society’s Values report, followed by a panel session which will explore the social dimension of the ‘just transition’ and aim to establish:

    • What should be covered as part of the ‘S’ agenda?
    • What is the organisation’s role in this agenda?
    • The key role that our profession needs to play in furthering this agenda.
    • How to develop strategies to address the social agenda and the guidance available?
    • The relevance of the reporting requirements that many organisations are now starting to be required to embrace; and
    • How organisational performance now needs to be addressed on a more holistic basis?

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  • Global Talent Trends in Finance

    (This webinar was held on 1 March 2023)

    Traditional work has changed so drastically – not just due to the pandemic, but multifaceted factors impacting the world – from technology advancement to wellbeing and mental health to natural disasters to the global economy. Many of these changes which started during Covid-19 since 2020 have been accelerated and become permanent aspects of our working lives today.

    As we enter the first quarter of the new year, let's grasp the work rhythm for 2023 and beyond. What are the future work trends impacted by technology, shifting demographics, sustainability, political and economic instability? How do we better understand and support employees' changing career aspirations to improve talent management and retention? How can we upskill and create the workforce of tomorrow?

    In this webinar, you will gain insights from our expert speakers on the unique characteristics of talent opportunities and challenges in the Asia Pacific region. We will also share with you key insights from ACCA’s latest research report titled Global Talent Trends in Finance, tracking sentiments of accounting and finance professionals across the world, with insights to help us create a working environment where today’s professionals thrive and where tomorrow’s talent wants to be.

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  • Geopolitics, Stagflation and Deterioration of ‘the Commons’: considerations in your Business Planning for 2023 and beyond

    (This webinar was held on 12 October 2022)

    Geopolitical conflicts has recently escalated to levels the world has not seen for decades leading to food and fuel shortages and price increases. These effects are more pronounced in the developed world as of now – with US inflation rate at 9.1% in June 2022, the highest for more than 40 years. In the UK, inflation exceeded double digits (10.1%) in July, and the Bank of England expects this to rise even further. How will inflation in developed markets affect Asia in terms of exports, manufacturing activity, employment prospects as well as inflation? What’s the risk of further geopolitical conflicts, particularly in Asia and how will this impact businesses?

    The prospect of Staglation (high inflation combined with low growth and high unemployment) is now greater as the Fed and other central banks aggressively tightens its monetary policies. Some of this impact is already being witnessed – e.g. on Asian financial markets and currency depreciation. Questions remain on how central banks in Asia will respond – will there be alignment or divergence of policy stances and how this will in turn affect growth in economies and employment.

    Commonly regarded as the “tragedy of the Commons” - climate change, alarming biodiversity loss, water scarcity, polluted oceans and the spread of infectious diseases pose growing threats to life and livelihoods – regardless of where you live or where your business operates. The recent example of heatwaves and droughts along the Yangtze River Basin which caused disruption in hydropower generation, demonstrates that even clean energy brings with it certain risks and that the scale of extreme weather events on businesses is being underrecognized by businesses. Yet, how robustly do our business and investment decisions consider the impact and dependency of nature and climate-related risks? With the advent of financial disclosures issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board – are finance teams prepared for both the quantity and quality of such disclosures?

    To borrow the expression of Singapore’s Senior Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam – we need to brace ourselves for a “Perfect Long Storm” where these structural issues - geopolitical, economic, and existential - reinforce each other.

    Most businesses typically undertake their Business Planning exercises around October, hence this event is intentionally designed to allow finance and business professionals the opportunity to glean critical insights and perspectives on these critical issues and shape their contributions towards robust discussions on business strategies and plans for 2023 and beyond.

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  • Fintech: Don’t miss the wave!

    (This webinar was held on 27 July 2022)

    The financial services sector is estimated to comprise between one-fifth and one-quarter of the global economy. Fintech, the coming together of financial services and digital technology, has transformed how financial services are delivered and consumed. These include online or ‘neobanks’, payment systems, payment gateways, application programming interfaces (APIs), investment banking back-end infrastructure, ‘insurtech’, ‘wealthtech’ and ‘regtech’. And this is before considering frontier areas such as central bank digital currencies, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens.

    Global venture capital investment in fintech start-ups reached USD 125bn in 2021 (Dealroom.co 2022), its highest ever, and 2.8 times the levels seen in 2020, signalling the growth and potential of this sector. When combined with the everyday reality of making payments or accessing other financial products, it is clear that this sector is ubiquitous to our lives – both professionally and personally.

    Yet, it is easy for professional accountants to be lost in the array of Fintech jargon, products and services, and assume that this is not a space for them to engage with. What about career opportunities? In a recent survey by ACCA and CA ANZ, half of those who responded see career opportunities for themselves in fintech. Roughly a further quarter don’t see career opportunities but don’t disagree with the statement either, leaving open such possibilities for the future.

    In a recent joint report with CA ANZ on Fintech: State of Play – Opportunities for Finance Professionals, it highlighted 10 different job roles for professional accountants within fintech. This cuts across from chief financial officers (CFOs) and auditors to digital transformation experts and entrepreneurs.  In this webinar, we will share with you key insights relating to opportunities for professional accountants in Fintech and let you hear first-hand from panellists who have made the switch – pertinently at different stages of their lives to a career in Fintech.

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  • Sustainability reporting: get ready for new ISSB standards

    (This webinar was held on 25 May 2022)

    Responding to the increasing demand for a global baseline of sustainability disclosures for the capital market, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was established at COP26. On 31 March 2022, the ISSB released 2 proposed standards for public consultation: a General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information and Climate-related Disclosures. These ISSB’s proposals build on the work of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the International Accounting Standards Board, the Value Reporting Foundation (which houses Integrated Reporting and SASB Standards), the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the World Economic Forum.

    In this 12th ACCA Asia Pacific Thought Leadership webinar, we are pleased to have invited Ravi Abeywardana, Technical Director, IFRS Foundation and Yen-Pei Chen, Professional Insights Manager, Corporate Reporting & Tax from ACCA to share ISSB’s plans and focus going forward as well as highlights of the 2 proposed standards. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion to explore the issues and challenges in implementing these proposed standards, from the perspective of businesses in Asia Pacific. The webinar would allow you to consider more deeply how these proposed standards could affect your business as you deal with investors, lenders, partners throughout your value chain and governments. Importantly, it also provides you with insight with regards to your role and responsibility as preparers of financial information and the capabilities that will need to be built within your organisation in implementing these ISSB standards.

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  • Accelerating Transformational Journeys – Five years in five months

    (This webinar was held on 23 March 2022)

    The world is experiencing faster-than-expected change in the face of Covid-19, climate emergency and technological innovations. To survive turbulent market conditions, many organisations forcibly made changes to processes and applications. This acceleration of the existing transformation agenda brings into even sharper focus the imperative of having the right data and technology, facilitating efficient processes overseen by appropriate personnel with skills and knowledge. The speed of adopting these changes were so quick that we can use the classic phrase of ‘five years in five months’ to describe it.

    In this webinar, we are pleased to have Clive Webb, Senior Insights Manager from ACCA to present some of the key findings from the recent Professional Insights Report published by ACCA, CA ANZ and Generation CFO – Transformational journeys: finance in an agile world. The report considers how transformation is fundamental to the survival of organisations and how finance professionals should play an important role throughout the process. Transformation is not just about technology; it is about organisational culture and in a world of iterative change being a willing player is essential. The transformation itself is transforming - no longer is it driven by large scale projects, rather it is on-going activities with value at their core, not cost-benefit.

    The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion which will explore on the role data and technology plays in transformation; where ESG fits in for organisations addressing transformation; and how we find the balance in different priorities to complete, reconciling the speed and perfection, embracing agility with no plans, and developing capabilities during transformation.

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  • 2022 Economic Outlook – A roaring Tiger or a Lazy Cat?

    (This webinar was held on 19 January 2022)

    The past 24 months have witnessed a period where economic and business projections have had to change continuously. Many call-outs were made in the past of moving towards a post-pandemic phase, only to be hit by newer forms of variants. This makes the work of finance functions and leaders all the more difficult. How do we establish viable and resilient future business projections? How do we challenge our business leaders without sounding overly negative and downbeat? Should business plans be premised on economic growth outlooks (which can change quickly and dramatically); and if so, whom do we believe?

    This upcoming Asia Pacific Thought Leadership forum will look at more broadly what 2022 may look like and importantly, based on members’ feedback for greater sectoral focus, zoom in on 3 major and still growing sectors in Asia Pacific – e-commerce, real estate and construction, and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). We will listen to the insights from leaders in each of these sectors how they see the sector evolving in 2022 – both in terms of opportunities and risks.

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  • Groundbreakers: Generation Z – The Talent Equation and The Future of Work

    (This webinar was held on 24 August 2021) 

    In the wake of an extraordinary 2020, ACCA, in partnership with IFAC, conducted a global survey targeting the Generation Z (focusing on those between 18 and 25 years old) about the issues that give them most concern right now. What do they want from their careers? What are they worrying about? What attracts them to organisations? What do they think about business? The survey attracted more than 9000 responses from around the world.

    This Asia Pacific Thought Leadership webinar will explore the implications for employers, managers and anyone who works with Gen Z, using insights drawn from the survey and further roundtables conducted around the world. It will also share considerations for younger people themselves shedding light on how they can best navigate their careers as the workplace transforms.

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  • Rethinking Risks: Opportunities in the midst of a prolonged crisis

    (This webinar was held on 23 June 2021)

    It’s been close to eighteen months since the start of the pandemic. Expectations of recovery which surfaced towards the end of 2020 now appear less optimistic. Despite the vaccination rollout across nations, continuous outbreaks and viral mutations are still clouding our economic projections at this moment in time.

    Moving forward, what could this prolonged recovery represent in terms of customer relationships and spending power, supply chains, cross-border travel, mobility of talent, etc? Coupled with increasingly important themes on digital transformation, climate change and inequalities, how should businesses reframe their approach to risk?

    It is often said that risks and opportunities are two sides of the same coin, yet the mindset is as vastly dissimilar as it is from value preservation to value creation.

    You are cordially invited to join this Asia Pacific Thought Leadership forum to gain valuable insights from experts on:

    • Rethinking risks for the 2nd half of 2021 and beyond in this region
    • How should risk management approaches evolve in such unprecedented times
    • Emerging opportunities and challenges in a prolonged crisis – organisationally and professionally

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  • Watch out for grey rhino in the Year of the metal Ox

    (This webinar was held on 16 March 2021)

    2020 was an intense year where we saw the world taking an enormous hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis has presented major disruptions to businesses as well as significant social and economic distress, causing many businesses to rethink their operating strategies in order to thrive in the new normal. While vaccination has started, the path ahead is still tough and unpredictable.   

    As we prepare for recovery to unfold, a lesson we have all learnt from the Covid-19 crisis is that we should stop overlooking the highly probable, high-impact ‘grey rhinos’ like the pandemic. Taking the learning forward to 2021, businesses should think ahead and gain insights into the dynamics of the evolving economic landscape - so as to build possible scenarios, formulate strategies, and mitigate risks of the unpredictable future. 

    You are cordially invited to join our upcoming Asia Pacific Thought Leadership forum to gain valuable insights from experts on:

    • Implications on trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region with a new US presidency 
    • Possible outcomes arising from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement
    • Tips for thriving on the emerging opportunities and challenges in the new normal

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  • Growth Recovery Leveraging on Analytics Driven Forward-Based Insights

    (This webinar was held on 27 January 2021)

    In a post-pandemic world, which is evolving at a rapid speed, organisations need to focus on building resilience and business sustainability in their data driven journey. The increased availability of data and analytic tools have opened up a range of opportunities for the finance function. Analytics can facilitate a more forward-looking finance function, enabling the generation of greater insights, the provision of immense value to stakeholders and business in this agile environment.

    However, it is surprising to note that only less than half of the finance and accountancy professionals indicated that they were using forward looking insights based on a survey carried out by ACCA-CAANZ in 2020 (Analytics in Finance and Accountancy) How do we get finance professionals on board, align their organisations, know precisely where to invest in and understand what skills they will need to build a data-driven finance function?

    ACCA in collaboration with CAANZ is pleased to invite you to this virtual live discussion among a panel of experts; we will be examining and sharing findings from ACCA-CAANZ’s Professional Insights report “Analytics in Finance and Accountancy” and covering a wide range of questions in relation to data analytics, how to futureproof your organisation and accelerate your data-driven journey. 5 Key areas that will be covered in the session are:

    • Governance and data management
    • Big data reality
    • Hybridisation of talent
    • Decision-making enablement
    • Predicative and prescriptive analytics

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  • Beyond Covid-19 towards sustainable organisations and practices
    Lone sunflower in a field of green

    (This webinar was held on 17 November 2020)

    Alongside its devastating health impacts, Covid-19 has shone a light on many social and environmental issues faced around the world. The pandemic has worsened existing socio-economic inequalities and reinforced the value of the natural world to our physical and mental health.

    Businesses rocked by the loss of income and potentially irreversible effects of the pandemic on their business models and value chains are also facing calls to do more to help people live well, to create more resilience to shocks and to cause less harm by design. Beyond demands for less environmental damage, questions are growing about business’s role in society, its societal purpose, and the lack of meaningful engagement with stakeholders about the negative social and environmental impacts of their activities.

    Professional accountants are highly aware of the persistent social inequality issues, urgent environmental crises and scarring impact of Covid-19. 90% of the respondents to the recent ACCA global survey believed that organisations must increase efforts to become more environmentally sustainable and make more of a positive impact on society after the pandemic, and 75% believed that their organisations needed to do more to address social inequalities.

    Join this virtual webinar to explore on the above with our speakers.

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  • Economic outlook in an uncertain world: Unpacking the business landscape in the next 18 months
    Traffic lights on a busy road in the dark

    (This webinar was held on 14 October 2020)

    In the recent world economic outlook report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the growth projections for all countries around the world for 2020 are negative apart from China where a slight growth of 1% was anticipated. Global growth is projected at -4.9% in 2020. As the pandemic evolves with the situation rapidly changing across the globe, recovery seems nowhere in sight.

    Are we optimistic that an improved economic confidence is in prospect in the second half of the year? Has the pandemic inflicted permanent impact to any business sectors? Looking ahead over the next 18 months, how will the global economy play out? How do accountancy and finance professionals anticipate the road ahead, and what are the responses and actions needed to put their organisations back on a sustainable track?

    Join our virtual forum, together with our expert speakers comprising economists and industry leaders, to unpack the uncertain business landscape.

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  • Rethinking business partnering: the new way forward
    Sunset view

    (This webinar was held on 13 August 2020)

    Finance professionals are expected to play a more strategic role in businesses by creating added value and influencing business decision making based on sound finance and finance-related insights while remaining ethical.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has raised the need for finance professionals to serve as crucial business partners, not just to survive through the challenging economic landscape and distressing cash flow positions but to create value and drive business performance.

    How do finance professionals demonstrate their value as business partners to their organisations? What are the challenges meeting leaders’ expectations? How do finance professionals harness the opportunities from insights? How do finance professionals rise to the challenge as business partners during a crisis? How do finance professionals transform to prepare for this new reality ahead?

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  • Envisioning the new normal: Post-Covid-19 recovery strategies in the digital economy
    View to the sky, beyond glass sky scrappers

    (This webinar was held on 7 July 2020)

    The pandemic has shown the importance of the digital economy in buffering the adverse effects of the crisis. However, staying still is not sufficient.

    It is important to maximise business value by harnessing the growing number of digital platforms and tools to recover from the onslaught of the pandemic, explore new business models, and forge ahead by seeking new opportunities to grow and establish your own new normal post Covid-19.

    Does your business or practice have a post-Covid-19 strategy? Are your staff and workforce re-skilled to thrive in the new normal? Have you transformed your business model to take into account the new reality?

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  • SME financing in the post-Covid-19 world
    Single tree on a field of grass, against a blue sky with white clouds

    (This webinar was held on 27 May 2020)

    The Covid-19 pandemic and the widespread lockdowns are undoubtedly having a significant impact on businesses and economies, and the demand for financing and loans is immense particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    With so many new challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency, how can enterprises survive these difficult times? What are the options out there viable for those in need of financial relief? Among a big pool of businesses who are all facing capital pressure, how can they skillfully communicate with banks on applying for loans? Without mortgage of assets, which type of loan should be applied? How can enterprises improve mobility through the various levels of supply chain?

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