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ACCA Integrated Report 2016 Chief Executive’s delivery report

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Chief Executive’s delivery report

Over the past 12 months we’ve concentrated on delivering some of the essential building blocks ACCA needs to be the leading global professional accountancy body in 2020 and beyond. These developments have all been focused on maximising opportunity and removing barriers to success for our members and future members.

An obstacle for many who aspire to be ACCA professional accountants is access to high quality, affordable tuition. We created ACCA-X, our revolutionary online learning solution, to help address this. It’s our first venture of this kind, on this scale, brought to life through a partnership with EdX – a world-renowned online learning platform founded by MIT and Harvard – with content developed by Epigeum, a spin-out organisation from Imperial College London now part of Oxford University Press, whose courses are used by 95% of UK Russell Group universities. With so many of us now learning and interacting online, this capability will be an essential tool in developing superior learning offerings for members and students.

We also brought fresh academic opportunity through our unique global partnership with University of London, which gives members and students the opportunity to gain a Masters in Professional Accountancy with this prestigious institution.

'We also brought fresh academic opportunity through our unique global partnership with University of London which gives members and students the opportunity to gain a Masters in Professional Accountancy with this prestigious institution'

In a landmark move, we also began offering our exams four times a year for the first time in our history – giving employers and their ACCA students greater flexibility and the option for speedier progression to membership. We also updated our practical experience requirement to reflect the changing role of the accountant and incorporate updates to international education standards, plus introducing a more user-friendly online recording tool.

Developing the competencies needed by employers through high-quality practical experience is also essential. Which is why we launched a new improved ACCA Careers job portal, a one-stop global platform for members and students looking for fresh opportunities.

To help us better meet member and student needs, we moved to quarterly satisfaction surveys. This has meant we can respond more rapidly to feedback and make iterative changes to what we do. Another great example of this is the co-creation of our new members’ section on accaglobal.com, designed with direct input from around 10,000 members. As part of this, we’ve included a new CPD resource finder so you can find the learning you need quickly and easily.

You also told us that you wanted quicker access to sector-specific information, so we introduced a series of sector hubs that bring together all our relevant technical resources in the key areas of public practice, public services, financial services, oil and gas, internal audit and shared services and outsourcing.

We’ve also invested in improving direct communications with members, including a new series of apps for Accounting and Business member magazine that make its content accessible on iPad, iPhone and Android.

'This year saw us unveil exciting new changes to our F5-F9 papers'

Making sure that the ACCA Qualification remains the gold standard for professional accountants globally remains our number one priority. This year saw us unveil exciting new changes to our F5-F9 papers, aligning our assessments to the demands of the workplace through the use of spreadsheets and word processing. In introducing these changes, we worked closely with employers and learning providers to ensure we’re genuinely increasing relevance and maintaining the rigour for which ACCA is celebrated. Next year will see us continue this journey with market-leading changes to the later stages of the ACCA Qualification, informed by the most wide-ranging and in-depth global research we’ve ever undertaken.

In all of this, the unparalleled range of expertise and insights our global membership possesses has been invaluable. I thank every member who has contributed to our progress this year and helped move ACCA so significantly forward towards our vision of being #1 in developing professional accountants the world needs.

Helen Brand OBE Chief Executive