ACCOUNTANCY FUTURES ACADEMY100 drivers of change for the globalaccountancy professionThis report was writen for ACCA by Fa...
About ACCA                                                                In this study, professionals workingACCA (the As...
ForewordACCA has a long history of forward looking research into the future of business andthe accountancy profession. Thi...
4
Executive summaryThis report presents the results of an      and identifying key factors and forces     with extensive des...
Figure 1: The ‘drivers of change’ study analysis framework    100 DRIVERS                    KEY IMPACTS AND              ...
STRATEGIC IMPACTS FOR BUSINESSAND THE ACCOUNTANCYPROFESSIONAnalysis of the drivers and the potentialinteractions between t...
RESPONDING TO THE DRIVERS:                             10 key ‘strategic action imperatives’ (seeTAKING STRATEGIC ACTION  ...
FROM ACTION TO OUTCOMES:                       companies and the profession respond                                       ...
Changemaker                                  particularly in turbulent times where       Analysis of the drivers has highl...
1. IntroductionOVERVIEW                                  METHODOLOGY                                                      ...
REPORT STRUCTURE                           When viewed collectively, the set of 100   A PLATFORM FOR ENGAGEMENT           ...
2. 100 drivers of changeCATEGORISATION OF THE DRIVERS                ECONOMY                                      SOCIETYT...
Business responsibility is identified as a    ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND                     ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSIONcrucial is...
Table 3: 100 drivers of change               Impact time frame               1–12 months                 1–3 years        ...
Impact time frame              1–12 months                   1–3 years                  4–5 years                     6–10...
Impact time frame               1–12 months                  1–3 years                      4–5 years                    6...
3. Evaluating the driver impacts ACCA Global Forum member prioritiesAs part of the broader consultation with              ...
4. Assessing the impactThis chapter addresses the ‘so what’        The implications are explored across       Within each ...
Table 5: Impacts of the drivers on the economy, business and the accountancy profession                 Next 3 years      ...
Next 3 years                                    4–10 years                                        10+ yearsAccountancy’s  ...
ECONOMIC CONTEXTMuch of current thinking about the future of the global economy over the next decade has, unsurprisingly, ...
iv. Revisiting the currency debate          v. Drivers of future growth                  entrepreneurship, support for sma...
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report
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Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report

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Full report on 100 drivers of change for business and the implications for business and the accountancy profession.

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Fast Future Report for - ACCA on 100 Drivers of Change for Business - Full Report

  1. 1. ACCOUNTANCY FUTURES ACADEMY100 drivers of change for the globalaccountancy professionThis report was writen for ACCA by Fast Future.
  2. 2. About ACCA In this study, professionals workingACCA (the Association of Chartered CertifiedAccountants) is the global body for professional in and close to the accountancyaccountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice profession identify 100 drivers ofqualifications to people of application, ability andambition around the world who seek a rewarding career change shaping the landscape forin accountancy, finance and management. businesses and professionWe support our 154,000 members and 432,000 students accountants over the next decade.throughout their careers, providing services through anetwork of 83 offices and centres. Our reputation isgrounded in over 100 years of providing world-class The potential impacts and 10accounting and finance qualifications. We champion resulting imperatives are explored.opportunity, diversity and integrity, and our longtraditions are complemented by modern thinking, Opportunities are identified forbacked by a diverse, global membership. By promoting accountants to adopt a moreour global standards, and supporting our memberswherever they work, we aim to meet the current and strategic and trusted role.future needs of international business.About IMA®IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), theassociation for accountants and financial professionals inbusiness, is one of the largest and most respectedassociations focused exclusively on advancing themanagement accounting profession. Globally, IMAsupports the profession through research, the CMA®(Certified Management Accountant) program, continuingeducation, networking, and advocacy of the highestethical business practices. IMA has a global network ofmore than 60,000 members in 120 countries and 200local chapter communities. IMA provides localisedservices through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA;Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; and Beijing, China.About Fast Future THE ACCOUNTANCY FUTURES ACADEMYFast Future Research is a global strategy, foresight researchand consulting firm that undertakes horizon scanning, The Accountancy Futures Academy contributes toscenario planning and in-depth studies on the future of ACCA’s programme of research and insights withkey sectors. Recent studies have looked at the future of powerful visions of the future. It provides aairports, scenarios for Asia, the future narcotics landscape, platform to look forward, to tune into theemerging science and technology sectors, jobs of the emerging trends and discussions in the globalfuture, demographic change, the meetings industry, travel business and policy spheres and the latest reformsand tourism and the future of HR. Fast Future works with facing the world of finance.clients in global businesses around the world to helpthem understand, anticipate and respond to the trends, By looking to the future it helps the professionforces and ideas that could shape the competitive stay at the cutting edge. The Academy’s worklandscape over the next 5–20 years. Fast Future’s consulting fosters fresh thinking and innovative discussions,draws on a range of proven foresight, strategy and identifies the barriers to and facilitators ofcreative processes to generate deep insight into a tomorrow’s successes, and identifies the potentialchanging world. These insights are used to help clients strategies that will enable business and finance todevelop innovative strategies, create disruptive business navigate the choppy waters that lie ahead.models and define practical actions to implement them. www.accaglobal.com/futures© The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants,September 20122010
  3. 3. ForewordACCA has a long history of forward looking research into the future of business andthe accountancy profession. This report, builds on ACCA’s groundbreakingresearch, Where Next for the Global Economy? A View of the World 2030,1 andother strategic studies published by ACCA in recent years. That study consideredissues such as the (re) distribution of global power, the scarcity and competition forresources, shifts in global markets and new business models, leading to newparadigms for governance and assurance.This report thoroughly examines the key factors that ACCA and IMA membersshould be thinking about to prepare for future opportunities and challenges overthe next 5–10 years. In so doing, it identifies 100 emerging drivers of change thatdirectly or indirectly impact business and the accountancy profession. Additionally,it provides a number of future scenarios for the profession while sketching out the‘must do’s’ for them to be successful over the next decade.How will businesses need to adapt to the myriad of changes? On one hand, theywill need to develop an understanding of these forces and their future implications.This, in turn, will enable them to weather forthcoming shocks and capitalise on newopportunities. On the other, there is a need to assess the skills implications foraccountants. The impact of the drivers of change outlined in this researchencompasses everything from the CFO’s role and reporting standards through tothe training and development of tomorrow’s accountants.Uncertainty and volatility are the new normal. The global landscape will continuallybe reshaped by a combination of market volatility, globalisation and innovation in aclimate where shifts of wealth and power, economic uncertainty and politicaltransitions are also occurring. These challenges are also exacerbated by rapidadvances in science and technology, demographic changes and the emergence ofnew business models. In a shifting social and economic environment, all of thesewill have serious implications on businesses and the accountancy profession.This research draws on inputs from members of the Accountancy Futures Academy,members of IMA, and ACCA’s other Global Forums to form the basis for high-levelpractical debates on how the profession can be better prepared to respond to thechanging needs of businesses.Ng Boon Yew FCCAExecutive ChairmanRaffles Campus1. http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-technical/global-economy/where-next.pdf 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL FOREWORD 3 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. Executive summaryThis report presents the results of an and identifying key factors and forces with extensive desk research andACCA Accountancy Futures study on shaping the future. These enable them analysis. In total, the memberdrivers of change for business and the to weather emergent shocks and consultation and desk researchprofession. The aim was to address the capitalise on new opportunities. Others identified 100 drivers of change. Thequestion: recognise that they do not as yet have drivers cover eight domains of such a well-tuned future radar and, as a relevance – the economy, politics andWhat are the key factors ACCA and result, have been caught out by law, society and demographics,IMA members should be thinking changes in both the macroeconomy business, science and technology,about to prepare for future and their operating environment. environment, energy and resources, theopportunities and challenges over practice of accounting and thethe next 5–10 years? FUTURE-PROOFING THE accountancy profession. ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSIONTURBULENCE IS THE NEW NORMAL The analysis was undertaken in four key For accountants there is a twofold stages:The overriding global themes for the challenge: firstly, understanding howdecade ahead are those of shifts in the key forces shaping the future could • collation, definition and evaluationregional wealth and power, extreme affect the organisations they serve. of the driverseconomic uncertainty and political Secondly, they need to assess thetransitions. At the same time, the implications for accounting standards • identification of the critical impactsbusiness landscape is being reshaped and processes and the accountancy and implications for the economy,by a combination of market volatility, profession as a whole. The impacts business and the accountancyglobalisation and transformational encompass everything from the CFO’s professioninnovation. The impact of these role and reporting standards through tochallenges is compounded by rapid the training and development of • prioritisation of key actionadvances in science and technology, tomorrow’s accountant. imperatives to respond to thedemographic shifts and disruptive new drivers and their impacts, andbusiness models. Collectively, these THE ‘DRIVERS OF CHANGE’ STUDYforces of change are driving new • generation of alternative possiblesocietal values, needs and To help accountants and business scenarios of the future forexpectations. In short, they are leaders prepare for an uncertain accountancy based on howtransforming every aspect of our world. tomorrow, the ACCA Accountancy accountants might respond to those Futures Academy commissioned Fast action imperatives.DEVELOPING A BUSINESS RADAR Future Research to undertake this study. The research explores theIn the face of such all-encompassing emerging drivers of change that couldchange, there is a growing recognition have the greatest impact on businessin business of the need to develop a and the accountancy profession overrigorous understanding of these and the next decade. The study draws onother emerging drivers of change and inputs from members of theto prepare for a range of possible future Accountancy Futures Academy,scenarios. Indeed, some businesses members of the Institute ofalready have well-developed Management Accountants (IMA), andcapabilities for scanning the horizon ACCA’s other Global Forums, coupled 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 5 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  6. 6. Figure 1: The ‘drivers of change’ study analysis framework 100 DRIVERS KEY IMPACTS AND ACTION SCENARIOS FOR THE OF CHANGE IMPLICATIONS IMPERATIVES PROFESSION Important factors shaping Critical issues for the economy, Key response strategies Alternative possible the next decade business and the profession responses to the action imperatives Economy Economic context Assume and plan for volatility Politics and law Challenges for business Build your radar Society Business strategies and Pursue technology leadership CHANGEMAKER Business priorities Prepare for true globalisation Science and technology Accounting’s public image Develop a curious, Environment, energy and Accounting’s positioning in experimental and adaptable resources business mindset Measurement and reporting Embrace an enlarged strategic SAFEHANDS Practice of accounting Accounting practices and commercial role Accountancy profession Skills, training and Establish trust and ethical development leadership Science and technology Focus on a holistic view of applications complexity, risk and BUCCANEER performance Develop a global orientation Reinvent the talent pool SURVIVOR6
  7. 7. STRATEGIC IMPACTS FOR BUSINESSAND THE ACCOUNTANCYPROFESSIONAnalysis of the drivers and the potentialinteractions between them suggeststhat the decade ahead will becharacterised by a combination ofcritical forces acting on business andthe profession – key among them beingthose outlined in Table 1.Table 1: Forces shaping the business environment and driving change in the accountancy professionForces shaping the business environment Forces driving change in the accountancy professionGlobal economy Trust and reportingContinued globalisation is taking place against a backdrop of persistent Pressures are increasing on the accountancy profession to strengthen itseconomic turbulence and uncertainty and growing pressure to rethink the public image and go beyond current financial reporting practices to provide aentire global economic and financial governance infrastructure. more transparent, simplified but holistic picture of a firm’s health and prospects.Business environment Regulatory expectationsGrowing business and regulatory complexity is coupled with intensified An increasing regulatory burden could drive up the cost of compliance.global competition and shortening business cycles.Innovation and change Standards and practicesRapid advances in science and technology are driving disruptive innovation, There is a drive to globalise accounting standards and practices.overhauling industry structures, challenging and reinventing business modelsand spawning new sectors.Society and work Intelligent systems and big dataChanging social values and expectations of work, an increasing global There is potential to use intelligent systems, data mining and predictivepopulation and an ageing society working well past current retirement age analytics to exploit the repositories of ‘big data’ that firms are amassingare creating challenges for how technology is managed and leveraged to and as a result transform both the operational and interpretative elementsintegrate a diverse multigenerational, multicultural and multinational of accountancy.workforce.Learning and development Organisational remitThe structure, techniques, distribution channels and costs of providing There are increasing expectations that the CFO and accountancy functioneducation and training are being transformed, with a growing trend towards should play a far greater role in everything from strategic decision making toonline courses and accelerated learning. the design of new revenue models. 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 7 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  8. 8. RESPONDING TO THE DRIVERS: 10 key ‘strategic action imperatives’ (seeTAKING STRATEGIC ACTION Table 2). These imperatives need to be addressed as a matter of priority ifThrough exploration of the drivers and business and the accountancyanalysis of their potential implications, a profession are to ensure they canclear set of implications and priorities perform effectively in the decade ofemerges for business and the uncertainty and rapid change that liesaccountancy profession. These ahead.priorities have been consolidated intoTable 2: Ten strategic action imperatives for business and the accountancy professionFive imperatives for business Five imperatives for the accountancy professionAssume and plan for volatility Embrace an enlarged strategic and commercial roleWith uncertainty as the new normal, businesses have to factor in turbulence as As businesses adapt to a turbulent environment, opportunities are emerginga very real possibility and develop strategies for a range of different economic for accountants to assume a far greater organisational remit. The potentialand market scenarios. exists to leverage the capabilities of the accountant across all aspects of corporate decision making, from strategy formulation through to defining new business models.Build the radar Establish trust and ethical leadershipSystematic, organisation-wide approaches are required for scanning the future The profession needs to be seen to be addressing clear public concerns.external environment. Preparing for a wide range of possibilities, tolerance of According to the research conducted for this report, there is a perception thatuncertainty, curiosity and ‘seeing round corners’ are becoming critical the profession could do more to highlight and prevent everything fromdevelopment priorities for managers and leaders alike. small-scale financial irregularities through to the major systemic failures that helped cause the global financial crisis and the ensuing economic uncertainty.Pursue technology leadership Focus on a holistic view of complexity, risk and performanceThe pace and disruptive potential of information and communications There is growing consensus on the need for reporting to provide a firm-widetechnology (ICT) development has placed technology at the heart of strategy view of organisational health, performance and prospects. Such a holisticand operations of businesses of almost every size. New mindsets and perspective must acknowledge the complexity of modern business andapproaches to technology management are required to exploit and extract encompass financial and non-financial indicators of a firm’s status andfull value from the next decade of advances. potential.Prepare for true globalisation Develop a global orientationDevelopment of a truly global operating model is becoming a priority. A clear The pace of global expansion of firms from developed and developing marketsemphasis is required on leveraging technology effectively. Equally important is alike is placing the spotlight on accountancy’s ability to master the technical,developing the capability of management to work with, adapt to and get the language and cultural challenges of cross-border operations.best out of a multi-location, multi-cultural and age-diverse workforce.Develop a curious, experimental and adaptable mindset Reinvent the talent poolA critical success factor in an increasingly complex and fast-changing The diverse range of demands and impacts on the profession is forcing aenvironment is building a ‘curious’ culture. This implies nurturing an rethink of everything from training and development through to the type ofenvironment that is open to external ideas and in which participants are people being recruited. Characteristics such as entrepreneurial spirit, curiosity,encouraged to forge a network of strong working relationships across the creativity and strategic thinking skills could assume far more significance in theentire business ecosystem. selection of tomorrow’s accountants.8
  9. 9. FROM ACTION TO OUTCOMES: companies and the profession respond • public perception of the professionSCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE OF and the relative importance and priority – with a spectrum of possibilitiesTHE PROFESSION they attach to the different imperatives ranging from ‘part of the problem’ could lead to a range of alternative to ‘guardians of integrity’There are significant uncertainties over possible outcomes or scenarios. Toexactly how the driving forces explore these different possible • scope of the accountant’s role –presented in this report may play out. outcomes, the study has outlined four ranging from a ‘narrow complianceWhat is clear is that, however they alternative scenarios for the future of focus’ to a ‘broad organisational remit’.unfold, the resulting impact will be the accountant’s role in a changingtransformational both for business as a world over the next decade. The As a result of considering the extremeswhole and for the accountancy world in scenarios are based on two key of the spectrum, four possible scenariosparticular. The 10 strategic action influencing factors, with a range of emerge; these are presented lookingimperatives provide a clear focus for options for how they might evolve back from a point 10 years into theleadership attention. The ways in which during this time: future and are summarised in Figure 2.Figure 2: Scenarios for the future of the accountant’s role Guardians of integrity Safehands Changemaker Narrow Broad compliance organisational Scope of the accountant’s role focus remit Public perception of the profession Survivor Buccaneer Part of the problem 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 9 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  10. 10. Changemaker particularly in turbulent times where Analysis of the drivers has highlighted(Perceived as ‘guardians of integrity’, firms want to demonstrate exemplary key areas of the economy, business andbroad organisational remit) financial stewardship. the profession that could be affectedIn this scenario, over the decade since the most. Assessment of the impacts2012, many in the profession have Survivor suggests 10 critical strategic actionsucceeded in balancing public (Perceived as ‘part of the problem’, imperatives on which business and theexpectations for responsible financial narrow compliance focus) profession should focus as they try tomanagement with an enlarged and In this scenario, survival seems the navigate through a turbulent economymore entrepreneurial stance within the priority for many in the profession, who and rapidly transforming business andfirm. The need to ensure sound and focus on a relatively narrow technical regulatory landscape. The differentethical practice has been a key driver in and strict regulatory remit. Society ways in which the profession, inthe gradual assumption of a wider remit perceives the profession to have failed particular, responds to theseby the CFO and accountancy function, in its duty of care to highlight and help imperatives could lead to a range ofwhich are seeking to encourage prevent the issues that caused the possible scenarios.performance with accountability. The global financial crisis of 2007–9 and thekey challenge here is maintaining the subsequent decade of financial and Faced with an ever-growing operationalbalance between encouraging economic uncertainty. Again, this might and regulatory compliance workload,entrepreneurial behaviour and ensuring be considered an unstable scenario due an understandable choice would be tothe highest standards of financial to the perceived lack of integrity. Hence opt for the Safehands scenario andstewardship. a goal for those in this scenario may be focus on a purely technical and more to evolve to the positioning of those in traditional definition of the accountant’sBuccaneer the Safehands scenario. role. The emphasis on integrity would(Perceived as ‘part of the problem’, meet with strong public approval.broad organisational remit) However, as the analysis of drivers andHere, many in the profession are playing the scenarios suggest, there is also aa more central role in value creation CONCLUSION: THRIVING IN clear opportunity for the profession toactivities. There is public concern, TURBULENCE, SEIZING THE aspire to the Changemaker scenariohowever, that accountants have OPPORTUNITY and embrace an increasingly strategiccompromised their ethical financial opportunity. This would entail meetingstewardship role in the pursuit of profit. The research emphasises that we are the public’s need for the highestThis scenario may be considered too entering an increasingly uncertain world standards of integrity while taking aunstable by many because a short-term, where almost every aspect of the broader leadership role within bothprofit-driven focus is not tempered by economy, business and the business and the wider economy.ethical financial stewardship, or accountancy profession will be in aentrepreneurship for long-term state of constant transition. The drivers While there is clearly no ‘correct’ scenario,performance. presented in this report highlight the role of Changemaker is perhaps the critical issues that will shape the most exciting and rewarding optionSafehands emerging landscape. The fact that both for those within the profession and(Perceived as ‘guardians of integrity’, these drivers have been identified by for would-be recruits. The quality ofnarrow compliance focus) those working in, and close to, the insights provided by those whoHere, the profession has succeeded in profession is a clear demonstration of participated in the study suggests that,re-establishing public faith in its role the accountancy sector’s ability and although demanding and difficult, thisover the last decade. For many this has willingness to engage in long-term broader remit is definitely achievablebeen achieved by deliberately strategic thinking. A key question is: for many within the profession. Thismaintaining a focus on the largely report and the activities that followtechnical elements of the role while What do we do with these powerful from the ACCA Accountancy Futuresseeking to ensure compliance with both insights that our colleagues have laid Academy are designed to helpthe spirit and the full regulatory before us? accountants on the journey torequirements of the law. This is becoming genuine agents of change inperceived as a stable scenario, both business and the wider economy.10
  11. 11. 1. IntroductionOVERVIEW METHODOLOGY The ACCA Global Forums andThis report presents the findings of a The exercise was conducted in two Accountancy Futures Academystudy on drivers of change for global stages.business and the accountancy As the global body for professionalprofession. The research was An initial series of telephone accountants, part of ACCA’s mission is tocommissioned by ACCA’s Accountancy discussions and email consultations provide opportunity and access to people of ability around the world andFutures Academy and conducted by were held with members of the ACCA support our members throughout theirFast Future Research. Accountancy Futures Academy,2 which careers in accounting, business and finance. yielded a list of 62 drivers of change. To ensure future success and provideThe report draws on extensive Contributors identified what they members with the best possible service,consultation with members of the perceived to be key drivers of change ACCA developed an innovative programmeACCA Accountancy Futures Academy, that would shape critical business and of Global Forums which bring together respected thinkers from the widerand members of the Institute of policy spheres and, as a result, the profession and academia around the world.Management Accountants (IMA) and accountancy profession over the next As part of this programme, thethe ACCA Global Forums. ACCA and 5–10 years. Accountancy Futures Academy provides aIMA have formed a strategic platform for ACCA to have a forward-partnership to support research. These 62 drivers were then sent to looking radar tuned in to the emerging expert members of IMA, and ACCA’s trends, discussions and reforms in the global business and policy spheres.The findings highlight what global Global Forums, for review, comment Looking at a time horizon of 5–10 years orexperts see as key drivers of change and identification of additional drivers. more, the Academy identifies and exploresover the next decade and beyond. A further 38 drivers were identified at issues of major significance for the globalThese drivers could have a critical this stage. accountancy profession to ensure itimpact on business, the accountancy complements the other ACCA Globalprofession and the global environment This report is based on the output from Forums.in which accountants will operate. this broad engagement and contains descriptions and analysis of a total ofThe starting point of this study was to 100 drivers of change.address the following question:What are the key factors ACCA andIMA members should be thinkingabout to prepare for futureopportunities and challenges overthe next 5–10 years? 2. http://www.accaglobal.com/en/research- insights/global-forums/futures-academy2/ members.html 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL 1. INTRODUCTION 11 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  12. 12. REPORT STRUCTURE When viewed collectively, the set of 100 A PLATFORM FOR ENGAGEMENT drivers explored in this report presentThe 100 drivers are introduced and fundamental challenges for business Strategically, the aim is for this projectsummarised in Chapter 2. A fuller and the accountancy profession. These to provide a platform for engagementdescription of each driver is presented challenges encompass literally every between members of ACCA’s Globalin the Appendix using the following dimension of business from governance Forums, members of IMA, and theircharacteristics: and strategy through to operations and broader memberships and the wider talent development. Chapter 3 explores community of stakeholders on the• a short description those impacts in greater detail. After future of accountants and the this, Chapter 4 examines the accountancy profession. It is also• a possible impact time frame, perspectives shared by members of the intended to help facilitate a debate on suggesting when the originator(s) ACCA Global Forums on the drivers the topics that the Futures Academy think it could affect at least 20% of expected to have the greatest impact. should pursue in greater detail. the profession globally It then goes on to assess the key implications of the 100 drivers for the No future work of this type can ever• possible implications for and economy, business and the hope to be definitive, but this report impacts on business and the accountancy profession. provides an important input into the accountancy profession, and development of future organisational A number of the drivers focus on key strategy. It provides accountancy• key questions and uncertainties advances in science and technology, organisations and professionals, and raised for the accountancy and their potential impact on business the businesses in which they work, with profession. and the practice of accountancy are a framework for preparing for, adapting discussed in this chapter. Chapter 5 to and influencing change. examines the priorities that emerge as businesses and the profession seek to The research partner in this project was move from insight to action. Finally, Fast Future Research, a foresight Chapter 6 considers a range of different research and consulting firm that works possible future scenarios for the with clients around the world to help profession over the next decade. them identify, anticipate, evaluate and respond to the trends, forces and ideas that shape the global economic and business landscape over the next 5–20 years.12
  13. 13. 2. 100 drivers of changeCATEGORISATION OF THE DRIVERS ECONOMY SOCIETYThrough the various stages of This set of drivers explores the fallout The rate and distribution of globalconsultation and desk research, a total from the global financial crisis and the population growth, and the resultingof 100 drivers of change were identified. long-term impact of current turbulence. implications for workforce age structureThese are described in full in Appendix 1. They encompass the sustainability of are highlighted as important drivers.Table 2.1 groups the 100 drivers in eight debt, prospects for growth and overall Increased female participation in theseparate categories: effectiveness of the global economic workforce, expectations of emerging infrastructure. Consideration is also generations and cultural diversity are all• economy given to stability of national revenue emphasised as critical social drivers for bases, the role of global reserve business. Issues around workforce• politics and the law currencies, and the need to consider capability are also identified with alternative economic management particular emphasis placed on the cost• society models. and ease of access to higher education and the growing role of online learning.• business Public attitudes to pure capitalism, concerns over protectionism and BUSINESS• science and technology changing notions of currency are all explored as part of the response to There is a clear emphasis on the need• environment, energy and resources both the global financial crisis and for fundamental change in every aspect continuing volatility. In exploring of business from governance and• practice of accounting possible routes forward for the global leadership through to approaches to economy, factors considered include innovation. There is scrutiny of the• accountancy profession. the level of inequality, the role of the critical role of leaders’ attitudes to knowledge economy and that of change, the level of business complexity,The key themes explored in the forces micro-businesses. Finally, consideration the rate of change in business cyclescovered under each category are as is given to factors such as infrastructure and adoption of new business models.follows. investment, labour mobility, stock Other strategic drivers considered exchange mergers and the impact of include the need to consider alternative the BRIC economies on global business and market paradigms and the accountancy firms. management of enterprise risk, accountability and compliance. POLITICS AND LAW Globalisation is seen to create both From a business and accountancy opportunities and challenges. A focus is perspective, drivers considered to be of placed on the scale of international critical importance are the level of mergers and acquisitions, the global political volatility and the rate of talent pool, choice of business democratic transition. Alongside these languages, reverse innovation from the role of global institutions and the emerging economies and the impact of impact of cultural globalisation are also new financial centres. Key managerial highlighted as key drivers. The scale challenges highlighted for the next and complexity of regulation and the decade include the importance of twin challenges of governance and reputation management, the adoption quality assurance of public sector of corporate ‘living wills’, the level of outsourcing are also emphasised. foreign direct investment and the use of integrated systems thinking. 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL 2. 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE 13 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  14. 14. Business responsibility is identified as a ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSIONcrucial issue for the coming decade RESOURCESwith a focus on social business, the level In the wake of the financial crisis, publicof social entrepreneurship, evolution of Concerns over the sustainability of expectations of the profession, itscorporate governance and managing current patterns of consumption loom attractiveness and definitions of its rolediverse stakeholder expectations. large, with particular attention being are central to many of the driversOther important drivers explore the paid to climate change, the biodiversity emphasised. Importance is also placedrole of cash in financial transactions, the impacts of business and competition on the flexibility and suitability ofrole of intermediaries and the for natural resources. Expectations accountancy training. Particularemergence of new industry sectors. about corporate eco-literacy, green attention is given to building capacity in practices, and ethical consumption in transitional economies and developingSCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY business are explored. Consideration is entrepreneurial skills and business also given to the ‘marketisation of awareness. Other factors highlightedThe digitisation of business and green’ through mechanisms such as include establishing the role of industryeveryday life are highlighted with a carbon trading, environmental financial associations in developing markets andfocus on our growing personal markets and the take-up of green the impact of entrants from outside thetechnology ecosystems, the ease of energy. profession on the accountancy servicesaccess to the internet and social media sector.and their impact on attention spans. For PRACTICE OF ACCOUNTINGbusiness, the impact of cloudcomputing, the valuation of digital Both strategic and operational driversassets, cybersecurity, the rise of ‘big are explored. The changing scope,data’ and the value of data mining are scale and complexity of the CFO roleall emphasised. are examined, particularly in relation to growth in demand for non-financial andAttention is drawn to the disruptive integrated reporting. The ramificationspotential of new industries and of the globalisation of accountingproduction models, and developments regulation, standards and supply chainssuch as digital publishing, intelligent are explored along with the implicationsaccounting systems, predictive analytics for the strategies and structures ofand augmented and virtual reality. accountancy firms. OperationalEmerging areas of science expected to considerations include defining audit’shave significant business and role, managing internal audit, balancingcommercial impact in the next decade managerial and financial accounting,include genetics, personalised health valuation of intangible assets and thecare, brain science, robotics and rate of adoption of XBRL as annanotechnology. accounting data standard.14
  15. 15. Table 3: 100 drivers of change Impact time frame 1–12 months 1–3 years 4–5 years 6–10 years 10+ yearsEconomy Proportion of knowledge- Stability of the global The level of economic Impact of BRIC market Notions of value and creation activities as a economic infrastructure growth development on global currency share of the economy at accountancy firms the national and global Public attitudes to pure Total scale and level capitalism distribution of global inequality and unmet Stability of national Consideration of needs revenue bases alternative economic perspectives Standing of the US dollar Manageability of national as the global reserve and international debt Globalisation vs. currency protectionism in times of Level of investment economic uncertainty Broadening measurement required to maintain of business value and national physical Extent of mergers of progress infrastructure international stock exchanges Freedom of mobility for global labour Number and impact of micro-businesses on the overall health of the economyPolitics and Level of international Rate of democratic Governance and delivery Focus of globallaw political volatility transition of outsourced public governance institutions services Pace and extent of cultural globalisation Volume and complexity of legal regulationSociety Scale and distribution of Cost and ease of access to Spread of cultural diversity Workforce age structure global population growth higher education in society and the workplace Uptake of online learning models in education The workplace expectations of Generations Y, Z and beyond Level of female participation in the workforce 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL 2. 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE 15 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  16. 16. Impact time frame 1–12 months 1–3 years 4–5 years 6–10 years 10+ yearsBusiness Quality and availability of Speed and duration of Business leader Capitalism next: future the global talent pool business cycles responsiveness to change governing business and and disruption market paradigms Scale of global mergers Experimentation with and and acquisitions (MA) adoption of new business Crowdsourced funding for Influence of emerging models innovation: the consumer financial centres Extent of foreign direct as investor investment in developed Level of complexity in Choice of global business and developing business Adoption of integrated languages economies systems thinking to Enterprise risk manage business Management of Scale of reverse innovation management capability complexity accountability and flow from emerging compliance within the firm economies to the Evolution of corporate Living wills for businesses industrialised world governance regulation Emergence of new and practice Scope and diversity of industry sectors and Extent of social expectations of external professions entrepreneurship in social Use of cash for financial stakeholders and business sectors transactions Pressure to manage The future role of corporate reputation as intermediaries part of business strategy Level of corporate commitment to social responsibility, investment, philanthropy and volunteer workScience and Impact of the internet and The digitisation of work Adoption of cloud Big data: the development Advancements in braintechnology personal technology upon computing by business and exploitation of large science attention spans, learning, The use of personal organisational databases and knowledge retention technology in business Creation and valuation of digital assets Data mining and Business impact of social Ease of internet access predictive analytics media The future of digital Cybersecurity challenges publishing ‘Intelligent’ accounting for business systems New industries and Scale of business production models Advances in genetic opportunities associated science with augmented and Impact of advances in virtual reality robotic science across The role of genetics in business sectors personalised health care Impact of nanotechnology advances across business sectors16
  17. 17. Impact time frame 1–12 months 1–3 years 4–5 years 6–10 years 10+ yearsEnvironment, Global climate change Global competition for Carbon tax and otherenergy and limited natural resources environmental marketresources Level of trade in mechanisms environmental finance markets Extent of eco-literacy, green practices, and ethical consumption in business Developing materiality of biodiversity impacts to business Scale of take-up of alternative energy by businessPractice of Size and complexity of the Clarity in financial Defining the scope of theaccounting CFO’s remit reporting and defining the accountant’s role audit function Internal audit Non-financial information management Impact of size specific and integrated reporting business regulation upon Importance of non- accounting practices Balance between external tangible assets in financial accounting and company valuation Rate of adoption of XBRL internal managerial as an accounting data accounting standard Changing structures and business models for accountancy firms Opportunities arising from adoption of global regulation Evolution of the global accounting supply chain Adoption of globally accepted accounting standardsAccountancy Flexibility, suitability and Establishment and Societal expectations andprofession cost of accountancy recognition of definitions of accountancy training accountancy associations in developing markets Accounting skills capacity in transitional economies Level of entrepreneurial skills in the accountancy Public perception and profession attractiveness of the accountancy profession Impact of competition from entrants outside the profession on the provision of accountancy services 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL 2. 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE 17 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  18. 18. 3. Evaluating the driver impacts ACCA Global Forum member prioritiesAs part of the broader consultation with The top-ranked selections reflect the The sheer level of complexity inmembers of IMA and ACCA’s Global extent to which the business business is emphasised as an importantForums, respondents were asked to environment is changing and becoming factor. Similarly, concerns are alsoidentify the five drivers from the initial more complex. These factors were raised over the ability of business andlist of 62 that in their opinion would expected to affect both management the finance function to keep pace withhave the greatest impact on the practices and the need for reporting of and control the costs of compliance,accountancy profession worldwide over the non-financial activities of global given a growing volume and complexitythe next 10 years. A total of 29 firms in an integrated manner. The of legal regulation. Equal priority isresponses were received. Table 4 lists legacies of the financial crisis, coupled given to the impact of an ageing societythe highest-ranked selections. with continued economic uncertainty, in Western nations and the resulting are also reflected in the priority given to effects on workforce age structure.The priority issues identified were the stability of the global economic Increasing age diversity in thegrouped into four main topics: infrastructure. In addition, some priority workplace is identified as bringing its is given to public concerns over the own challenges relating to differences• complexity in business viability of and risk associated with the in working practices, use of technology, models of pure capitalism that are seen use of language and developing social• economic uncertainty to have contributed at least in part to cohesion. the current volatility.• cost of compliance• the changing shape of the global workforce.Table 4: Global Forum member rankings of drivers expected to have the greatest impact on the accountancy professionRank Driver1 Non-financial information and integrated reporting2 Stability of the global economic infrastructure=3 Public attitudes to pure capitalism=3 Level of complexity in business=5 Volume and complexity of legal regulation=5 Workforce age structure7 Enterprise risk management capability=8 Focus of global governance institutions=8 The workplace expectations of Generations Y, Z and beyond=8 Quality and availability of the global talent pool=8 Evolution of corporate governance regulation and practice=8 Societal expectations and definitions of accountancy18
  19. 19. 4. Assessing the impactThis chapter addresses the ‘so what’ The implications are explored across Within each of the eight areas, aquestion – examining key implications eight key impact areas: number of critical challenges areof the 100 drivers for business decision identified along with the potentialmaking and the future role of the • economic context implications for business and theaccountancy profession. Table 5 and the accountancy profession. To helpdiscussion below draw out key findings • challenges for business connect these insights and theirfrom the analysis of the 100 drivers. The implications to tangible actions,analysis highlights how the drivers • business strategies and priorities Chapter 5 highlights and describes thecould have an impact across critical key ‘strategic action imperatives’. Thesedimensions of the economy, business • accountancy’s public image are seen as the priorities for businessand the accountancy profession over and the accountancy profession arisingthree key planning time frames: • accountancy’s positioning in the from the analysis of drivers and the business assessment by impact area.• the next 3 years • measurement and reporting• 4–10 years • accountancy practices• 10+ years. • skills, training and development. 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL 4. ASSESSING THE IMPACT 19 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  20. 20. Table 5: Impacts of the drivers on the economy, business and the accountancy profession Next 3 years 4–10 years 10+ yearsEconomic Uncertainty over stability of global economic Continuing concern around volatility and low Key global institutions such as the UN andcontext infrastructure and integrity of the Eurozone levels of economic growth WTO reformulated to reflect the new distribution of global power New economic models and perspectives Risk of increasing income inequality between explored, eg Collapsonomics and closed- and within developed and developing Increase in total global population, but loop economics countries continued population decline across much of the developed world Broader adoption of protectionist policies to Increased global competition for finite protect internal markets and control export resources Greater reliance in the West on economic of valuable raw resources migrants from developing countries Emerging centres of financial power in the Knowledge-creation activities represent a East, eg Shanghai, Mumbai, Seoul growing share of the national and global economy creating a ‘knowledge economy’ Greater private-sector delivery of public services Decreased use of physical currency Governments struggle to control public debt across the developed market economiesChallenges for Shortening of business cycles Increased competition across all sectors from Fundamental reshaping of industry valuebusiness BRICS market firms selling innovative quality chains and business models Increased competition for top global talent products at lower prices Impact of human enhancement (chemical, Decreased business intermediation as A decrease in the mobility of global labour genetic and technological) increasingly consumers interact directly with producers apparent in the workplace An ageing workforce in much of Europe and Challenges of managing a continuously East Asia Shift in industrial logic from machine age digitally connected 24/7 workforce with thinking to biological models of design decreased attention spans and increased Challenges of incorporating of Generations Y distractions and Z into the workforce and meeting their expectations Cybersecurity risks of fraud and theft of intellectual property and sensitive corporate Increased participation of women in the and financial information workforce globally, especially in senior management Growing public and government demands on business to demonstrate greater transparency, regulatory compliance and ethical behaviourBusiness Increased focus on tackling complexity Greater emphasis for business leaders to Significant shifts in global centres of RD andstrategies and recognise and respond to global changes innovation now apparentpriorities Shift from asset ownership to rental and disruptions, or be left behind Social goals rank equally with financial Wide adoption of new business models, eg Increased focus on organisational resilience returns for many firms crowdsourcing for funding innovative ideas plans vis à vis political volatility, the impacts of climate change and unforeseen ‘black New organisational forms and business Further pressure to manage corporate swans’ models emerge driven by Eastern reputation for competitive advantage and to philosophies address public concerns Greater use of concepts such as chaos theory and integrated systems thinking to manage Intelligent systems now at the heart of Increased corporate social responsibility and complexity corporate decision making sustainability efforts Technology and globalisation enable a new Immersive, multi-dimensional, gesture- Newly democratising countries creating fresh generation of emergent global micro- based, tactile and voice-controlled interfaces market opportunities for foreign business business to most systems and devices Increased digitisation of work and company Adoption of ‘living wills’ helps to facilitate assets orderly financial unravelling of failed companies Greater social entrepreneurship creating social goods and ethical business practices Firms go beyond mere regulatory compliance and strategies by adopting exemplar behaviours voluntarily Use of social media to interact with Exploiting new technologies and production stakeholders and develop new business models, eg 3D printing, nanotechnology, and relationships biomimicry Increased adoption of cloud computing reduces the size of firms’ technology infrastructures20
  21. 21. Next 3 years 4–10 years 10+ yearsAccountancy’s Process of rebuilding public trust after the Establishment of accountancy associations in The changing role of accountants withinpublic image perceived failings of accountants that came developing markets to provide a collective business and the use of emerging to light during the financial crisis voice for the profession, as well as training technologies radically redefines the and standardisation of practice accountancy professionAccountancy’s Expansion in the size and complexity of the Accountants take on a more strategic role, Increasing use of big data, predictivepositioning in CFO’s remit helping to explore the merits of potential analytics and intelligent accounting systemsthe business new business models and markets to develop and evaluate strategies, business Growing strategic responsibility for value models and pricing approaches maximisation Greater focus on managerial accounting within organisations alongside external Accountants ensure compliance with Increasingly prominent role in strategic financial accounting regulations such as a carbon tax and other decision making emerging environmental market mechanisms A greater role in constructing MA strategies Watchdog role to ensure compliance with to help plan for future growth and stability Auditing of the genetic health of the new legal regulations, enforcing transparency workforce and the management and reporting of risk Accountants playing a key role in implementing green practices through the Expansion of the internal audit function from minimisation of waste and identification of being simply an independent assurance green opportunities such as use of function to becoming a management adviser alternative energyMeasurement Greater push for simplified and transparent Accounting in multiple strong global Challenge of responding to a proliferation ofand reporting financial reporting to gauge the true health currencies, ie US dollar, yuan and euro 2.0 local and virtual currencies, and new of an organisation and discourage financial methods of payment, eg ‘time banking’ malpractice Increased use of alternative business measures, eg innovation, trust, happiness Greater experimentation with immersive Increased importance of non-tangible assets and sustainability financial reporting using data mining, in company valuation, eg RD augmented reality and virtual reality Greater integration of non-financial information into auditing reports Increased auditing of environmental impact of organisations Increasing use of data mining to create tailored financial reportsAccountancy Increasingly complex regulatory landscape Increased global regulation of the Advances in fields such as artificialpractices with regards to different types and sizes of accountancy profession intelligence and predictive analytics could business create truly intelligent automated accounting Widespread international adoption of systems Widespread adoption of XBRL as an common global accounting standards and accounting data standard practices, eg IFRS Increased competition in the provision of Adoption of new structures and business accountancy services from non-accountants models for accountancy firms Increased off-shoring of accounting, especially lower value routine tasks Greater focus on audit of non-tangible and digital assets, eg virtual real estate, digital music, and intellectual propertySkills, training Increased cost of higher education Emphasis on language acquisition and Brain-machine interface allows educationand cultural training to accommodate a diverse modules to be downloaded straight into thedevelopment More organisations offer to pay full or part workforce and operate in emerging markets mind course fees in return for students’ agreement to work within the company. Greater focus on accountants’ ability to analyse larger datasets Increased uptake in online learning for academic study and business training Greater emphasis on basic entrepreneurial skills such as business insight and leadership, Greater emphasis and expansion of creativity, and communication continuous professional development to ensure staff are up to date with a rapidly Widespread provision of free open and changing world unrestricted access to intellectual content Harmonisation of accountancy education in developing countries with international competency standards 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL 4. ASSESSING THE IMPACT 21 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION
  22. 22. ECONOMIC CONTEXTMuch of current thinking about the future of the global economy over the next decade has, unsurprisingly, been influenced bythe fallout from the global financial crisis. Thinking is also being shaped by continued economic uncertainty fuelled by highlevels of sovereign debt, and rising concerns over the scale of potential regulatory abuses within the financial system. As aresult, five aspects of the global economic system are expected to see significant - if not transformational - change.i. Societal expectations ii. Rethinking the growth paradigm iii. Reworking financial systems andPublic anxiety is expected to increase The next decade will be one in which governanceover systemic weaknesses and the ‘growth for all’ can no longer universally Much of the economic governancemismatch between a relatively narrow be assumed as the dominant paradigm. focus of the next decade will bedistribution of rewards and a wide While some developing countries in characterised by new thinking,public ownership of the downside risk. particular may be able to pursue an experimentation and debate overAt the same time, the social and uninterrupted 10-year growth path, for alternative models for managing thepsychological costs of economic many the outlook is a lot more global system. The goal will be to try toausterity are expected to cast a shadow uncertain. For developed economies a evolve a new financial architecture,that lasts a decade or more over the major dampening of growth is governance framework and regulatorycountries that are worst affected by expected owing to continued efforts to approach. Any new model must besovereign debt, such as Greece and resolve the debt problems of the capable of managing a complex globalSpain. The income gap and scale of Eurozone, Japan and the US. At the economy in a fairer, efficient and moreinequality between rich and poor same time, potential slowdowns and transparent manner. These changes willnations could also become a growing debt challenges in the major emerging require an unprecedented level ofcause of tension and guilt within the economies such as China and India are vision and coordination amongglobal system. expected to retard expectations of policymakers, central bankers, standard global growth still further. setters, legislators and private sectorImplications financial institutions around the globe.Collectively, these factors are expected Implicationsto lead to demands for more Countries, businesses and accountants The conceptual underpinning of theresponsible approaches to capitalism alike will be forced to consider a range new models may well draw on lessonsand a system that ensures more of possible growth scenarios when from other fields – such as thetransparent and equitable distributions developing their future plans, and biological world – looking, for example,of risk and reward. prepare for the possibility of a low to at the design of resource-efficient no-growth world. closed-loop systems. Ideas may also come from fields such as ‘chaordic’ design (defined as ‘systems functioning on the edge of chaos with enough order to give them pattern’) and Collapsonomics, which seeks to understand the behaviour of systems on the verge of collapse. To gain societal approval globally, any new models will almost certainly need to incorporate a range of measures of human progress and non-financial assessments of systemic performance. Implications Tolerance of uncertainty will become a core competency for business leaders and accountants alike. Accountancy practices and training courses may need to exist in a state of constant evolution for the next decade or more as the world tries to establish sustainable economic management models.22
  23. 23. iv. Revisiting the currency debate v. Drivers of future growth entrepreneurship, support for small-to-A number of potentially conflicting Despite immense uncertainty over the medium enterprises (SMEs) and theforces will shape decisions about future of the global economy, nations creation of micro-businesses.currency unions, reserve currencies and must still find ways of feeding theiralternative tokens of exchange. Most populations and establishing whatever Implicationswould acknowledge that 50 years from the ‘new normal’ will be. As a result, Firms may increasingly be evaluated onnow there could well be a single global there is an increasing focus globally on the quality of their science andcurrency represented entirely in encouraging the development of new innovation base and their ability toelectronic form. The issue is how does market sectors ranging from genetics benefit from future growth sectors.the world get there from here? The and human enhancement through to Industrial policy and legislation mayEurozone has demonstrated the new materials and 3D printing. At the evolve to place legal requirements ondifficulty of achieving successful heart of such strategies lies the notion firms to help nurture the developmentmonetary union without close alignment of leveraging science, technology and of micro-businesses and SMEs.of political and economic policies. At innovation for growth.the same time, there is a growingexpectation that the next decade could An example of the search for newsee a number of other currencies, such sources of growth is the Europeanas the yuan, become increasingly Union (EU) Horizon 2020 research andinfluential and share the role of global development programme. The EU isreserve currency with the US dollar. currently in the process of approving this ambitious €80 billion initiative. TheWhile mainstream currencies should goal is to stimulate the growth of keydominate for the foreseeable future, sectors across the continent. Thethere is clear potential for alternatives challenge in such funding programmesto financial mechanisms of exchange to is to ensure that sufficient resources gobe adopted for a range of transactions. to ‘pure’ discovery-based researchA number of examples are already in activities rather than focusing toouse, such as the QQ virtual currency in heavily on ‘applied’ developments thatChina. Others include sub-national are closer to market.currencies, peer-to-peer creditnetworks and time banking. In One of the big concerns surroundingtoughened circumstances, where the industries of the future is theirincomes are expected to remain under impact on total employment. Typically,pressure for some time to come, the these information-age and biological-popularity of such alternative non- era businesses tend to employfinancial tokens of exchange is proportionally fewer staff than theirexpected to grow. industrial-age counterparts. As the major employers of recent timesImplications rationalise in the face of an uncertainFor accountants, currency issues and future, the new entrants are not alwaysthe management of the interface taking up the displaced labour – creatingbetween financial and non-financial the very real prospect of jobless recoveryexchange mechanisms will become and growth. As a result, there ishigher priorities and present new expected to be a major increase inchallenges. emphasis on encouraging 100 DRIVERS OF CHANGE FOR THE GLOBAL 4. ASSESSING THE IMPACT 23 ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION

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