Going beyond Numbers in a Digital Marketplace; Lloyd Powell, Head of ACCA in Wales, Says It's Vital Finance Professionals Adapt Their Business Models to Support Firms in a Changing World

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 25, 2018 | Go to article overview

Going beyond Numbers in a Digital Marketplace; Lloyd Powell, Head of ACCA in Wales, Says It's Vital Finance Professionals Adapt Their Business Models to Support Firms in a Changing World


ACCA recently sponsored an award at the annual Wales Online Digital awards, which showcases the very best in Wales' thriving digital sector.

We were very pleased to present the award for 'Best Use of Technology within Education' to Blaenavonbased My Development Zone. The shortlisted contenders in this category were all very strong entries, but this was awarded in recognition of Development Zone's online learning solution 'My Development Zone'.

This has revolutionised professional skills development in the general insurance market.

This ties in with our objectives - as the accounting and finance profession grapples with the fast pace of technological change, we at ACCA are great advocates of the use of digital technology, through online delivery of our courses, computer-based examinations and through embedding digital skills within our ACCA qualification and CPD.

Innovation in Wales is at an alltime high, particularly within the SME sector. My Development Zone is an excellent SME success story - it's an e-learning solution used to deliver over 400 courses to learners and has 13,000 subscribers. Businesses like these are in need of trusted business advisers and professional accountants to support their growth and success.

The range of funding sources available to new and growing business is huge and can be bewildering, including banks (which of course includes the Development Bank of Wales) angel investors and crowdfunding. It is important that accountants and finance professionals are aware of and can signpost clients to the sources of funding for a business.

We recently held an event in Cardiff in partnership with the Development Bank and Brewin Dolphin to raise awareness amongst accountants and businesses of the range of options available to support business growth.

There is also a need for professional accountants to attain and remain up to speed with digital skills, using it for their own development and training as well as supporting the growing number of businesses offering or using new technologies. This includes the technological innovations affecting and disrupting the accounting profession, including the use of new cloud-based systems, artificial intelligence and analytics.

At ACCA, we have recently published our updated competency framework which takes into account - pardon the pun - all the attributes and skills required to retain ethical professionalism within any accountancy role.

When we talk about 'competency' we are referring to a set of skills, knowledge, abilities, attributes and experience which has value towards effectively performing in a job within an accounting and finance role, and in this case those that an ACCA member will have. There are 10 competency elements, including: | Ethics and Professionalism; | Audit, Assurance and Advisory; | Corporate and Business Reporting; | Financial Management; | Governance, Risk and Control; | Leadership and Management; | Stakeholder Relationship Management ; | Strategy and Innovation; | Sustainable Management Accounting; and | Tax Advisory All the above behavioural competencies will resonate with accountants and finance professionals working in a range of sectors including, in practice, in an SME, financial services, a corporate or in public sector and these are values and behaviours which are developed in the ACCA Qualification. …

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