50 drivers of change in the public sector

This report forms part of the ACCA Professional accountants – the future series and focuses exclusively on identifying the 50 drivers of change that are expected to have an impact on the public sector and how professional accountants will need to continue to play a pivotal role in the decade ahead. In addition there are ten country reports that look at the specific drivers for China, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, UK and Zimbabwe.

pi-drivers-change-public-sector v7-page-001

To help professional accountants and leaders in the public sector prepare for an uncertain tomorrow, ACCA undertook a global study to explore which emerging drivers of change could have the biggest impact and to highlight the skills that will be required over the period to 2026.

We surveyed over 1,000 senior executives, ACCA members and members of other professional accountancy bodies working in public sector organisations and carried out 12 in-depth roundtable discussions across 11 countries (around 300 participants) to inform the report.

The report is structured in two sections, the first introduces the ranking of 50 drivers of change (split into eight domains of relevance) that are expected to impact the public sector in the next five years and beyond, the second section assess the impact of the drivers on the future public sector landscape.

Key findings

  • The overall top, critical, driver of change is: level of economic growth, followed by: quality and availability of the global talent pool
  •  The public sector finance function is also experiencing challenges of its own from changes in technology to greater commercial focus
  • Professional accountants in the sector will need strong set of skills to meet the challenges including strong technical skills, communication skills, professional judgement, vision and leadership skills.