After the stock market crash of the 1940’s, businesses had to change to survive, and they did. Roaring through the 50’s business adapted, and so did the CFO. Business today has to evolve too in order to navigate through tough financial territory. In the aftershock of the 2008 global meltdown, it seems the local economy is struggling to find solace in a playing field marred by one downturn after the other. In an essence, it is a market filled with bears and few bulls.

The role of an accountant is changing too, moving out from behind office partitioning, to playing center field. The reality is that in order for companies to remain competitive, then every adaptive CFO has to step in and be the driver of change.

By hosting the “Future Accountants – Employer event” on the 14th September, ACCA aimed to drive this message of change amongst human resource professionals and shift focus on employment practices. The main message: HR specialists need to think ahead, and ensure that future CFO’s joining their companies are equipped for the progressively fastening rate of financial change.

Through a host of panel experts, the event unpacked ACCA’s recent report titled “Professional Accountants – the future”. The report, created through global collaboration, unpacks tell-tale signs of the future of accountancy and how HR could benefit from employing the “right type of accountant”.


What will the right type of accountant be? Through the advent of the digital age, accountancy practice will be integrated into every aspect of the companies DNA and the accountant would be required to be equally available to dissect, analyse and drive decisions based on the information at hand. If the 24-hour drive-through revolutionised the takeaway industry in the 1980’s then the 24-hour accountant will do the same for the 2020’s.

In many countries, HR employment practices are already changing. Companies are realising the importance of hiring the future CFO opposed to the today’s accountant.


Tax, audit assurance, corporate reporting, strategic planning for better governance risk, financial management, and ethics were earmarked as the main drivers of change. Identified in the report, these drivers of change carry significant impact in employment practices in South African and abroad. Financial and business planning is becoming a global affair. Even if a company is solely based in South Africa, global effects can be far reaching.

Consider this as a well-established movement by ACCA, aimed to merge good corporate governance with credible employment processes, decreasing possible risk faced by employment practices” – Trudy Naidoo, Associate Director, Assurance, EY Inc. Africa

ACCA believes that now is the time to introduce companies to the benefits of employing globally relevant, integrated CFO’s. Through ongoing training initiatives and a strong focus on good governance, it is essential for CFO’s to evolve into digital aware, collaborative leaders. The future of business depends on it.

For further information on the ACCA Report “Professional Accountants – the future” please visit http://bit.ly/2cPNoGp

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