ACCA sponsored content: Future - WCOA Sydney 2018 | The Best Accounting Conference

International Convention Centre, Sydney Australia  |  5-8 November 2018

Learning for the future

Sponsored content: Lifelong learning is essential to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. Accountancy professionals will be increasingly required to broaden their skill-set and take ownership of their personal development if they are to succeed in an ever-changing, dynamic world, according to a new report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) – Learning for the Future – due to launch on 9th November at the IAAER World Congress of Accounting Educators and Researchers (the sister conference to WCOA, also in Sydney, Australia).

The report will also reveal how the learning landscape is changing as a result of rising new digital solutions, but social interactions to reinforce learning are ever more essential in turning learning content, especially that provided online, into effective skills and capability.

The accountancy profession, like many other professions, faces several significant challenges from social and technological trends and developments. Careers are getting far longer as we need to spend more time in the workplace and our paths are increasingly less linear. Digital innovations in finance and accounting can present both an opportunity for accountants to move up to more value-adding roles and responsibilities, but could also mean others are at risk of getting marginalised if they are not open to change.

The report highlights four dynamics in the change of workplace learning:

  • Technology in accounting – Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence and cloud-based computing are all technologies that have an impact on accounting and are changing the way we are working. Tasks are being automated and roles are being squeezed. We have different expectations of new entrants and challenges for other roles. Interpretation of data, communication, vision and strategy are increasingly top responsibilities for the future accountant.
  • The evolving workplace – many of the traditional perceptions of work are being challenged by evolving business models, giving way to more flexible and dynamic team based structures. Instead of developing staff in existing roles, many organisations are now embracing the gig-economy and ‘borrowing’ talent over a specific period of time to cover a certain phase in growth. Also, many societies are facing the reality of four generations in the work place and strategic organisational design needs to ensure all generations are able to work together and leverage each other’s strength and experiences.
  • Flexibility in career – the transition to more flexible, lattice career paths can create challenges for those trying to progress. We are moving away from the conventional ‘ladder’ path to a journey where we make career choices aligned to our personal growth agenda. Concepts of a job for life are long gone and for those generations already in the workplace, adapting to this model is challenging.
  • The self-curated learning trend – as individuals we are increasingly responsible for our own career choices and the traditional reliance on the employer to support us is decreasing. Many have historically sustained careers in a world where learning took place at a time and place and fitted into a cycle. Nowadays, to assume there is one clear course that can be rolled out at organisational level is outdated. While employers must embrace the variability of content and providers now available, learners must become more educated as to what activities they can undertake to achieve the performance level they are aiming at.

The report is based on surveys, roundtables and interviews with ACCA members and students and those from the learning and development communities, including employers and education providers.

Don’t miss the full report, download ACCA’s Insights app:

This article brought to you by ACCA.

ACCA sponsored content: Future

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