Future of ACCA in a Rapidly Changing Technological Environment Part-2

for part -1 click here. https://rcptec.com/future-of-acca-in-a-rapidly-changing-technological-environment/

In the last couple of articles, we have discussed the changing global environment and the impact of these changes on the accounting profession. This article will explore this topic in further detail because as you must have realized by now that this topic is not a small one. Even a few articles are not enough to completely cover this topic in its depth and width.

We left off the last article on the issue of globalization and its effects on the accounting profession. Let us pick this discussion from there. Globalization is causing changes in every profession and the accounting profession is not an exception, in fact, it has been affected the most by globalization because money moves the cogs and wheels of the world and wherever you have got any economic activity, you have got the involvement of money and thus the need for accounting and finance.

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We discussed in the previous article how the increased usage of outsourcing means that accounting professionals now need to be innovative and at the top of their skills to adapt to the changing environment. We also discussed that outsourcing has created more opportunities for accounting professionals because it has countered the problems associated with the mobility of labor. We already know that ACCA is a global body of professionals and since their syllabus across every country is more or less standardized this means that ACCA professionals anywhere have the same skill set they gain from ACCA and this gives them employability across the world. This also means that ACCA professionals, if they decide to provide their services on any freelancing platform can pitch themselves in a much better way compared to other accounting professionals.

In this regard, a shift is being seen in employment trends. Globalization is becoming a double-edged sword for employment patterns because the growth of outsourcing has resulted in increased demand of accounting professionals from South Asia, as employers in America and Europe can benefit from their professional services at a much lower cost but this also means that accounting professionals in America and Europe are now worse off because of outsourcing. This, however, seems more like a temporary problem that will be fixed by the labor market function. It must also be remembered that outsourcing has its limitations. Businesses cannot completely outsource their accounting functions because this function is one of the most important functions of a business. Startups and small businesses can outsource but big companies, corporations, and multinationals will always prefer in house accounting departments. Nevertheless, outsourcing has introduced a new variable to the equation, this cannot be denied.

Globalization has had far-reaching consequences on the world and one such consequence has been the movement of capital. As economies have come closer, trade links between countries strengthened and financial institutions have reduced controls over the movement of capital across borders, the level of economic activity has increased but so have instances of money laundering and illegal movement of capital. Mega financial scandals such as Panama papers have highlighted the fact that laws and regulations have failed to keep appropriate checks on the movement of capital and thus resulted in an increased incidence of money laundering across the world where the wealth of the people is plundered and siphoned off to offshore tax havens.

This has resulted in an increased focus on new laws and regulations to control and check financial activity. This is where the role of accounting professionals will get more important as they will be required to help relevant regulatory bodies draft news laws to curb corruption and money laundering. Accounting and finance professionals can help the regulatory bodies in formulating new laws because they know the ins and outs of the financial systems and the loopholes that exist which are then utilized by corrupt individuals. This will bring in accounting professionals who specialize in financial management and reporting, auditing and taxation and so all of these areas will be key areas of the profession in the time to come. If you are a student of ACCA or any other accounting body and you prefer the more traditional roles such as reporting and compliance then it is advisable for you to firstly gain a thorough understanding of the key subjects and secondly get in-depth knowledge of local laws and regulations as this will help you understand the regulatory environment of your country and thus in future you will be better placed to understand or assist with the formulation of new laws and regulations.

What this means is that while the global outlook is going to change and result in a lot of changes in the accounting profession but the foundation of the profession will remain the same and it will be vital for accounting professionals to be well-grounded in the subjects that make the base of this profession. Finance, management, reporting, taxation, and auditing will be key areas and without a solid understanding of these subjects, accountants will not be able to prove their mettle. So do not think that change global outlook will change the underlying framework of this profession.

So the fundamental knowledge and technical skills will remain largely the same, in reality the main change in the accounting profession is the acceptance of the fact that the changing global outlook is also changing the accounting profession and that now there is a need and urgency to make the necessary changes in the accounting profession to adapt to the changing world. Because previously, the accounting profession was in a static state. Changes in the accounting world were seen as a slow process whereas today urgency can be seen and felt.