Making Future Research Count – The ACCA and IMA commitment


Recently two of the leading accounting bodies ACCA and IMA renewed their long-term commitment towards their global strategic partnership. The announcement of a new multi-year “signature” research programme, by the two bodies, will bring to market insightful findings that will prove invaluable to the accountancy industry.

Planning is in progress for the first study under the signature program, which will offer predictive insights about the effects of social, mobile and cloud computing (SoMoClo).

SoMoClo refers to a more distributed way of computing than most businesses are used to. Information is stored in more places, accessed from more endpoints and shared with more people, all in an effort to increase productivity and efficiency. According to, this trend in computing represents a shift away from the client/server model, in which workers relied solely on their employers to provide them with the technology required to do their jobs.

With SoMoClo accountants have access to information, and with the aid of pre-designed programing, accountants work with real time financial figures. This research and other future projects will include technology enablement, business intelligence, predictive analytics, and more.

According to Helen Brand OBE, ACCA’s chief executive, futures research is an effective means of engaging senior leaders in business and finance, as well as academics and political decision-makers. Further Brand explains, this is particularly important as accountancy undergoes substantial changes. Having a vision of the future role of the accountant in business is a fundamental part of influencing the future trajectory of the profession.

Jeff Thomson, CMA, CAE, IMA president and CEO said: “IMA and ACCA have a shared commitment to serving the public interest and enhancing organisational capability, given the evolving and challenging role of the CFO team. There is a market demand for research that’s actionable for management accountants. We are pleased to take on that charge.”

ACCA and IMA’s interest in a futures-focused programs comes following the release of several well-received research reports, including “100 Drivers of Change,” “Big data: its power and perils,” and “Digital Darwinism: thriving in the face of technology change.”

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