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The power of our global connections

1. Connecting experts to provide Belt and Road initiative insights

Professor Li China
Patrick Tsang FCCA China
Dr Shi China

China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) is the most extensive international trade project for generations. 

As the global body for professional accountants, ACCA has 23 offices along the Belt and Road route and is uniquely placed to help explore what it means for the profession and our members. 

An expansive ongoing research project – which is being conducted with a range of partners including Deloitte China, Shanghai National Accounting Institute (SNAI) and the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) – is examining how BRI will affect the business infrastructure of China and key economies along the proposed trade route. 

We launched two major reports, informed by our research, at the SNAI Conference in Shanghai in July. 

The report Accounting infrastructure: a booster to the Belt and Road Initiative – with SNAI and Deloitte China – provides an overview of the accounting systems, tax risks and personnel requirements in major countries along the Belt and Road route.

ACCA has 23 offices along the Belt and Road route and is uniquely placed to help explore what this trade and infrastructure development means for the profession. 

Professor Li Kouqing, SNAI’s president provided invaluable insight to ACCA on national accounting-related issues affecting BRI. The subsequent co-operation between ACCA, SNAI and Deloitte has led to rich and deep insights, boosted by the collective power of the members, students and employers we all reach.

Patrick Tsang FCCA, CEO, Deloitte China brought his team’s extensive expertise to the research, having provided professional services advice on BRI to over 100 large state-owned enterprises over the past three years.

The second report, Belt & Road Initiative: Reshaping the global value chain, in partnership with Shanghai Stock Exchange, features case studies exploring how seven Chinese companies are preparing for their involvement in the project.

Dr Shi Donghui, director of the Capital Market Institute at Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) described this joint research as a proactive attempt by SSE to serve the Belt and Road initiative in an integrated way. 

Through this ongoing collaboration, ACCA is playing a major part in helping our members – and business – navigate this exciting trade opportunity:

2. Drawing on fintech expertise to keep members ahead

Sanjay Rughani ACCA Tanzania
Tamara Littleton UK
Rashika Fernando FCCA Canada

Advances in technology are challenging established businesses and business models, with organisations in a race to remain relevant to their customers and communities.

A new ACCA insight report, Race for relevance: technology opportunities for the finance function, was published in December 2017 and explores the opportunities and challenges that current and emerging technology presents for finance leaders in the face of extraordinary digital change.

It shares expert perspectives from leading executives across the globe – from within the profession and beyond – on the technologies changing the face of the finance function and how business is run.

Sanjay Rughani ACCA, CEO, Standard Chartered Tanzania and deputy chair of IFAC’s Professional Accountants in Business committee highlights how CFOs can use technology to inform and actively shape the business’s strategic direction. saying ‘analytics helps you to look at macro data, human behaviour and your own performance, you combine everything towards good decision making. It enables you to think forward, think strategically, about business goals and solutions’.

Our Race for relevance report shares expert perspectives on technologies transforming the finance function.

Tamara Littleton, CEO, The Social Element and Polpeo shared her social media expertise for the report, highlighting the opportunities it presents and pitfalls to avoid, including the need to plan effectively for crises and simulate how to manage reactions. Sanjay and Tamara showcased their knowledge in greater depth as part of our 2017 Accounting for the Future online conference.

Rashika Fernando FCCA, director, enterprise project management at Scotiabank has led events in his market – Canada – on insight from the research, bringing it alive for our members.

We’ll be continuing to showcase these technology topics around the world throughout the coming year, including at the World Congress of Accountants in Sydney during November 2018:

3. Connecting ACCA members across Africa

Jide Ibironke FCCA Nigeria
Kholeka Mzondeki FCCA South Africa
Dr Winnie Tarinyeba Uganda

We held our first regional convention for members in Africa in December 2017, bringing together 700 delegates from 31 countries across the continent. 

Held over two days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the event connected stakeholders across the public and private sectors – including government policy representatives, regulators and finance professionals – to discuss the future of the profession and business in Africa. 

The convention’s theme was the impact of socio-economic trends on the future of finance and business in Africa – wide territory that was explored by a diverse group of speakers from the region and across the globe. Some of Africa’s most illustrious finance and business leaders joined us for discussions covering innovation, ethics in the digital age, and the future of business and the professions across key sectors of the economy.

This year, we held our first regional convention for ACCA members in Africa, bringing together 700 delegates from 31 countries across the continent.

A landmark African event on the ACCA calendar this year, we welcomed members from all spheres of finance and business to tap into a wealth of resources, know-how and inspiration. 

In addition to attending as delegates, many of our members also took to the convention stage to share their expertise.

Jide Ibironke FCCA, chairman of the ACCA Nigeria advisory committee led a strong member representation from Nigeria, and chaired a lively plenary session on leadership and future skills.

Kholeka Mzondeki FCCA, an award-winning CFO from South Africa and former ACCA Council member, used her expertise to steer a thought-provoking session on corporate governance.

In addition to leading business figures from across the region, members also benefitted from expert academic viewpoints. Dr Winnie Tarinyeba from Makerere University School of Law in Uganda was one of a number of distinguished speakers bringing the latest corporate governance thinking and research to the convention.

Just as important as the wealth of learning and unparalleled insights, the convention was a fantastic opportunity for our members across Africa’s diverse nations to connect, share experiences, and come together as a regional ACCA family. 

4. Sharing ACCA tutoring expertise across the world

Nischitha K India
Steve Willis ACCA Czech Republic
Su Mon Phyo Myanmar

Helping ACCA’s global family of learning providers prepare for our new generation of exams has been a major focus over the past 12 months.

This year, we conducted our largest ever outreach to ACCA tutors by providing a busy international programme of ‘train the trainer’ sessions – all geared around developing the expertise needed to teach our new session computer-based exams (CBEs), strategic business reporting exam and strategic business leader case study.

Our truly global connections enabled us to identify leading experts to deliver these all-important workshops. Steve Willis ACCA, head tutor for management accounting papers at PwC Business Academy, an ACCA Platinum Approved Learning Provider in the Czech Republic, visited India, Nepal and Myanmar during the year to share his expertise with fellow ACCA tutors.

This year, we conducted our largest ever outreach to ACCA tutors through our global ‘train the trainer’ programme.

Ms. Nischitha K from Joseph College of Commerce, Bangalore, a university partner, benefitted from Steve’s insight at the Bangalore session in July 2017 which focused on teaching toward our new session CBEs. With over 100 very enthusiastic ACCA tutors from different parts of India, the sessions were also a great way to connect ACCA learning providers with each other and strengthen the ACCA learning community.

February 2018 saw Steve in action in Myanmar where Su Mon Phyo, ACCA from NLA took part in the sessions along with other fellow ACCA providers. Sharing a range of tips and techniques on successfully teaching towards CBE exams with Su Mon Phyo and other learning providers and university partners helped build huge confidence and excitement around the changes to the ACCA Qualification.

Afra Sajjad, ACCA’s building learning providers network – lead says: ‘Being able to tap into best practice within our learning provider network to share knowledge and expertise around the world has been invaluable. The fact that Steve and so many of our other ‘tutor gurus’ are ACCA members themselves is also fantastic!’

5. Connecting learning providers across the Indian subcontinent

Dr Murali India
Sajid Hussain Pakistan
Sayee Rakshith India

By collaborating closely across our ACCA markets network, we’re able to identify ways our partners can work together for mutual benefit. And as we’ve worked ever more closely with some of our most forward-looking strategic learning partners in the past year, we’ve been be able to tap into their innovation and expertise to support our wider network.

Helping two of our strategic partners in India and Pakistan connect is a great example of the sort of work we’re doing.

Dr R S Murali, director and senior tutor at ANSA in Chennai, India, and his team were looking to access CBE practice for their ACCA students and we knew SKANS, a highly innovative and entrepreneurial strategic learning partner headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan, could provide valuable support. 

Connecting two of our learning partners in India and Pakistan is a great example of the sort of collaborative work we’re enabling.

We helped enable shared access to a CBE practice platform between SKANS and ANSA and set up a WhatsApp group for the two colleges to talk and collaborate. Following a demo, SKANS developed a bespoke online ‘campus platform’ for ANSA to meet their requirements, working closely with ANSA to set this up. The new platform enables ANSA to upload their own questions, create their own tests and evaluate their students.

Sajid Hussain, CEO, SKANS Education (Pvt) Limited says: ‘In the context of emerging Pakistan, we are in partnership with ACCA and are producing strategic thinkers that can steer the country in the right direction. We are also moving these efforts beyond the borders as we believe in providing effective support to new ALPs across the globe for them to successfully implement the qualification’. 

Sayee Rakshith is just one of ANSA’s students who is benefitting from this inspired piece of collaboration between two truly committed ACCA learning providers.

6. Connecting to support the accountancy profession in Rwanda

Bosko Karake Mkombozi Rwanda
Alta Prinsloo USA
Jamil Ampomah Ghana

ACCA has been working in partnership with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) since 2016, under a joint capacity building project with the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). This year, we’ve continued to work closely with iCPAR to embed and advance their strategy to 2021.

It’s a textbook example of national and international accountancy organisations combining expertise, with the support of government, to create lasting economic benefit. Rwanda defined its long-term development goals in its Vision 2020 programme, which aims to transform the agriculture-based economy into a knowledge-based, service-oriented one by 2020. 

ACCA is privileged to be working with iCPAR on its journey towards supporting the Rwandan government’s vision for the future. 

Bosko Karake Mkombozi, iCPAR’s president and the body’s leadership team are implementing impressive developments through this work, including strengthening the capabilities of the institute itself and enhancing core offerings in CPD and technician level skills. This work acknowledges that the government’s Rwanda Vision 2020 is dependent on the establishment and development of ethical organisations that adopt good governance practices and provide financial information based on international standards. A certified accounting technician qualification for Rwanda is under development and policy and content for member development offerings are also being scoped out. 

Alta Prinsloo, IFAC’s executive director, quality & development is responsible for global accountancy profession development initiatives at IFAC, including accountancy capacity building, and has been instrumental in bringing this and many other international projects ACCA supports to life. ACCA is a proud IFAC member – and we’re most proud of the capacity-building work our membership enables us to undertake. 

Jamil Ampomah, ACCA’s director – Africa says: ‘ACCA is privileged to be supporting iCPAR on this journey. Our work together is multi-faceted and will deliver for Rwanda on numerous levels, helping drive regional and international competitiveness and ultimately enhancing investor confidence and supporting economic growth’. 

7. Providing member input direct to the UK government

Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA UK
Rhonda Best FCCA UK
Dermot King FCCA UK

ACCA took up the Secretariat role of the UK government’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Trade and Investment this year. As part of our organising role, we’ve established nine sector-specific Sector Advisory Groups, comprising 10-15 senior business representatives, to identify barriers to trade in their industries. These representatives include ACCA members with related sector expertise who are providing direct input into government strategy – demonstrating the insight ACCA members across the UK have into the varied motivators or barriers to international trade. 

Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA, CEO and founder, Soaring Falcon sits on the Smart Technologies and Digital Services Advisory Group, offering insight from her extensive experience in practice. The output from this Group has been a ‘Challenge Paper’ presented to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox MP, that called on government to reduce bureaucracy around international data transfer and protections, introduce business registration packages to encourage innovative tech companies to set up in the UK and align EU regulation to safeguard continued private investment. 

Through their involvement in APPG sector groups, ACCA members in the UK are providing direct input into government thinking on trade.

Rhonda Best FCCA, director, Alexander Bain is an ACCA Council member who sits on the Professional Services Advisory Group. This Group was set up to identify both the obstacles faced by professional services firms when expanding operations overseas as well as the way that professional services such as accountancy advise UK businesses currently trading internationally. In March 2018, the group presented their paper at a meeting with the Secretary of State for International Trade. 

Dermot King FCCA, managing director - Butlins and director - Bourne Leisure sits on the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Advisory Group, led by the British Hospitality Association. The Group has produced a full report which was sent directly to the Secretary of State’s office.

They – and all the ACCA members involved – are making a significant contribution to national trade and investment policy at a critical time for the UK.

8. Connecting to build the profession in Afghanistan – supporting CPA Afghanistan’s development

Brian McEnery FCCA Ireland
Muhammad Zarif Ludin Afghanistan
Lucia Real-Martin Australia

It’s been a truly historic year for the accountancy profession in Afghanistan. With ACCA’s support, the new national professional body, CPA Afghanistan, was established and held the country’s first national accountancy conference in December 2017. For a nation seeking to rebuild after years of paralysing conflict, it’s a remarkable achievement.

Brian McEnery, ACCA’s immediate past president made the first ever visit to the country by an ACCA Council member to take part in this landmark conference. Brian also hosted the country’s first ACCA new member and high achiever event, where 24 newly-qualified ACCA members received their certificates. Some of these new members completed all their ACCA exams under Taliban occupation without access to tuition or books, relying instead on YouTube clips for guidance. 

ACCA has been working closely towards these inspiring achievements with CPA Afghanistan since 2015. Today, we have 1,000 ACCA students whose studies are being supported by CPA Afghanistan with funding from The World Bank. This year, we signed a new agreement which focuses on strengthening CPA Afghanistan’s role as the national professional accountancy organisation.

Our partnership is helping fast-track the development of a sustainable accountancy profession in Afghanistan.

Muhammad Zarif Ludin, programme manager and in-charge, CPA Afghanistan is leading his dynamic team to develop the body’s structure and influence across all sectors of government and industry, supported by ACCA every step of the way, including knowledge and information-sharing to build capacity in the CPA Afghanistan team. Now that the profession is becoming established, CPA Afghanistan is working with Kabul University on re-launching its accountancy programme after a 40 year absence – and this will be modelled on ACCA’s Fundamental level papers.

Lucia Real-Martin, ACCA’s director – emerging markets is the proud ACCA co-sponsor of this initiative and says: ‘This partnership is helping fast-track the development of a sustainable profession for the country and all the benefits of financial stability that flow from it. Through this initiative, we’re truly living up to our promise of developing the accountancy profession the world needs – and achieving this through the power of connections and collaboration.’

9. Connecting the global public sector – ACCA International Public Sector Conference

Dr Khanh Lam Tran Vietnam
Karen Sanderson FCCA Australia
Chaly Mah Singapore

Our eighth annual ACCA International Public Sector Conference in Singapore was our biggest and most successful yet. Focusing on the digital public sector, the conference brought together nearly 400 public sector experts from 30 countries. We welcomed VIP delegates from across ASEAN and beyond, including the secretary general of the Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants, Dr Khanh Lam Tran.

We also had a fantastically supportive conference partner in the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) with Chaly Mah, SAC’s chairman and his team closely working with ACCA to scope out the programme and engage with the wider Singapore public sector. Chaly also delivered an inspiring keynote address focusing on Singapore’s ambitions to develop itself as a global centre for technology, innovation and enterprise and how digital innovation is making this possible.

Our eighth annual ACCA International Public Sector Conference was our biggest yet, bringing together nearly 400 experts from 30 countries.

Our roster of speakers reflected ACCA’s truly international perspective, with presenters from as far afield as Australia, Estonia, Nigeria, Ireland, Uganda and Zambia. They included senior ACCA member Karen Sanderson FCCA, Executive Director, Industry and Government Services, NSW Treasury and member of the IPSASB Consultative Advisory Group, a leading figure in the international public sector, who provided an update on the IPSASB’s current work and priorities.

Given the shared challenges the sector is facing globally, being able to draw on so many informed inputs from around the world – especially from our own members – made this year’s public sector flagship event even richer.

Read from the beginning

Our case studies are just some of the many collaborative ways we’ve brought ACCA’s mission, values and vision to life this year. You can read about our complete strategic performance, governance, environment and outlook in the full integrated report.

Case studies