As the pace of change continues to accelerate, the need for ACCA members to continuously refresh their skills and capabilities has never been greater.

Sharon Critchlow FCCA, Director, Newgrange Devlopments Ltd and ACCA Council member

To help members remain in high demand, we’ve had a strong focus on developing CPD resources and support over the past 12 months, with further enhancements planned throughout 2019-20. Highlights of our professional development support and initiatives in 2018-19 included:

 

Accounting for the Future 2018 virtual conference: this year’s flagship virtual conference was the biggest yet with over 28,000 attendees from 170 countries attending the live and on-demand sessions. It provided free CPD sessions over three days, with over 20,000 sessions attended that provided 136,000 hours of engagement

Mentoring programme pilot: launched in six markets in September 2018, this new initiative connects ACCA members and affiliates forming powerful relationships that help develop and enhance careers

Chartered Internal Auditor’s challenge exam: the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) provided a specially designed fast-track, one exam route to Chartered Internal Auditor status for ACCA members throughout June - August 2018

A new agreement with CFA Institute: a three-year agreement which sees ACCA and CFA Institute collaborating and exchanging views on important projects and issues relating to both professions, such as CPD, ethics, professionalism and thought leadership, exploring common areas of interest across research study and professional insights

Certification in Mergers & Acquisitions from the Institute for Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances (IMAA)

AB magazine: consistently ranked as the ACCA’s most valued benefit, our members’ magazine provides news and topical analysis, reviews of emerging trends affecting the profession, technical articles and updates, interviews, CPD articles, career and employability articles, ACCA news and events, videos, and podcasts.

 

Global support is supplemented by extensive local programmes run through ACCA’s market offices, tailored to the local needs of the membership and the markets.

To inform our offerings, we undertake CPD surveys of all members every two years. This year, over 6,000 ACCA members responded globally to tell us about their preferred learning methods and style and the content they’d find most useful. This insight shared is being used to shape both our global and market-led programme of member support.

 

With 80,000 roles advertised last year and and average of one million page views a month, ACCA Careers is also one of the most active dedicated sites for professional and trainee accountants in the world.

ACCA Careers – our one-stop, digital recruitment resource

ACCA Careers is our online employment resource that connects our members, affiliates, and students to top organisations around the world. It is the only service of its kind that’s available in English and Chinese language. With 80,000 roles advertised last year and an average of one million page view a month, it’s also one of the most active dedicated sites for professional and trainee accountants in the world.

In addition to viewing thousands of opportunities, members, affiliates and students can access world- class resources – including articles and webinars – to upskill and prepare for interviews and help career progression. They can search and apply for vacancies – and get regular job alerts by email. In the past 12 months, we’ve introduced a series of enhancements to ACCA Careers including:

 

  • upgrading Approved Employer visibility and response performance
  • launching a dynamic jobs widget on the Competency Framework job profiles to reinforce the link between the qualification and employability
  • integrating with LinkedIn so our direct employer jobs get increased social promotion
  • creating a volume ‘job-mirroring’ process so our top employers can have their roles seamlessly uploaded.

 

Acting as an ACCA mentor

— Sharon Critchlow FCCA

Sharon is a non-executive director and consultant who spent eight years as a public practice accountant in the UK, followed by nearly 20 years as a shareholding director leading a rapidly expanding company in the financial services sector. She is currently a director of Newgrange Developments Limited. She was elected to ACCA’s Council in 2016, having served on ACCA UK’s Bristol network panel for a decade, including three years as network president.

Sharon has been part of ACCA’s mentoring pilot programme since it began in September 2018.

‘I’ve worked with two mentees so far as part of the pilot – one exploring setting up her own business and one thinking about his next career step and looking at relocating with his family as a result.

Because I’ve spent my working life establishing and running enterprises, I was able to provide practical insight on all of those other essentials aspects of making a success of a business, aside from the financials – which my mentee, of course, had completely covered! In the case of the other mentoring relationship, it was more about helping explore the emotional context of what a major move to another city, hundreds of miles away, might mean. With both mentees, acting as a sounding board and helping them challenge their fears and see how real they were was really important. That process helped build confidence and belief and the fact there is so much implicit trust and respect between ACCA members means that you’re able to get to the heart of the issue together much more quickly – because of our shared experience, there’s that short hand and understanding’.

What does Sharon personally get out of this? ‘Of course, it’s fantastic to see people get on, especially when they are also part of the ACCA family. But it also reminds me of something I heard many years ago and has stayed with since – and that’s the phrase ‘to teach is to learn twice’. Acting as a mentor helps you refresh so many of the essential skills – listening, emotional intelligence, problem solving – that are vital in the professional life of an ACCA member. It’s been a great experience.’