Drivers of change and future skills

This global report gives an in-depth insight into the future of the profession - the drivers of change through to 2025, the demands on the profession and the skills that will be required to meet those changes and demands.


During 2014 and 2015, we surveyed over 2,000 professional accountants and engaged with over 300 workshop participants to distil what the future could look like and how the profession will need to respond.

Professional accountants – the future: Drivers of change and future skills synthesises the results of this qualitative and quantitative global and national research. The report is presented in two sections, firstly the drivers of change that will have the most impact, and secondly the future skills required of professional accountants to respond to those changes.

While many factors will drive significant changes to the accountancy profession, the research showed they fall into four broad themes:

  • Regulation and governance
  • Digital technologies
  • Expectations
  • Globalisation

The report examines the changes specific to six technical areas of accountancy and then presents seven ‘professional quotients’ accountants will need to adopt in response to change:

  • Technical and ethical (TEQ)
  • Intelligence (IQ)
  • Creative intelligence (CQ)
  • Digital (DQ)
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • Vision (VQ)
  • Experience (XQ)

Technical and ethical (TEQ) competencies remain at the core of the professional accountant’s skill set, however the report shows that a combination of the remaining quotients will enable individuals to succeed and add value to their employers and clients in the years to come.