12

Strategy to 2025, measures and targets

Each new strategy is designed to enable ACCA to focus on, and invest in, activity that ensures it remains a successful and sustainable organisation, able to meet the changing needs of members, future members and other stakeholders.

Council approved the strategy to 2025 in September 2019. The overall vision we are seeking to achieve through this strategy remains to be #1 in developing the accountancy profession the world needs.

We have also taken this opportunity to re-look at how we express the fundamental reasons for ACCA’s existence and the values that drive us.

Responding to the issues of trust in the profession and the responsibility organisations have for meeting societal needs (not least through helping deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals), we have introduced a more focused purpose statement, emphasising the importance of being seen to be a force for good. We have also refined and updated how we describe our values, so that they resonate more strongly with our community and wider society.

The strategy to 2025 is an evolution of the approach that has taken ACCA to 2020. It builds on the progress made over the past five years and is designed to ensure the ongoing success and sustainability of ACCA by:

  • fully maximising and building on the assets we already have, and are continuing to create, through our digital transformation
  • providing the strategic flexibility and resilience to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing external environment, and
  • developing the agility to swiftly take advantage of new opportunities that deliver value, create growth and ensure financial sustainability.

To deliver our vision, ACCA needs to continue to transform and evolve, and maximise the impact of everything we deliver in a focused way. This has led to simplifying and sharpening our focus to 2025, pursuing fewer outcomes but with each carrying greater weight in taking ACCA forward.

ACCA’s strategy to 2025 sets out how we will secure a vibrant future for ACCA by fulfilling our purpose and remaining true to our values.

  • Lead Our proud, connected community delivers change for public good.
  • Create Our unique knowledge enables us to shape the future and create long-term value.
ACCA’s strategy to 2025

Create:

Our unique knowledge enables us to shape the future and create long-term value

To deliver this strategic outcome, our ambitions focus on two key elements — knowledge and value. Between now and 2025 our ambition is to:

Knowledge

  • Be the global leader in identifying emerging issues and opportunities for the profession, defining the way forward
  • Leverage the collective expertise of our community to develop world-class insights
  • Develop a deep understanding of our diverse community to anticipate what the marketplace and the world needs
  • Provide every part of our community with access to the knowledge they need to succeed in a changing world
  • Share ACCA’s knowledge to shape the profession for the benefit of business and society.

Value

  • Ensure the ACCA Qualification remains the first-choice global professional accountancy qualification for employers in all sectors
  • Ensure our future members are informed, motivated and supported to successfully progress to ACCA membership
  • Support our members, future members and continuous learners to enjoy dynamic and flexible careers both now and in the future
  • Support employers to build the capability of their teams, embedding ethics and professionalism across global business
  • Use our unique knowledge to innovate, developing forward-thinking solutions to keep ACCA and the profession relevant and deliver value to the world.

Lead:

Our proud, connected community delivers change for public good

To deliver this strategic outcome, our ambitions focus on two key elements — business and society and community. Between now and 2025 our ambition is to:

Business and society

  • Build an inclusive global profession, which supports the development of ethical, sustainable and succesful businesses and economies
  • Ensure everybody has access to a quality finance and accountancy education to achieve their aspirations
  • Promote ACCA as a trusted, forward looking brand that inspires business leaders, employers and decision makers
  • Influence governments, policy makers and regulators to draw on our global perspective to develop the profession
  • Ensure our members are recognised as ethical, strategic professionals that drive trust in business for public good.

Community

  • Maximise ACCA’s role as a super-connector, drawing on our global presence to facilitate connections that deliver value
  • Transform our network into a proud, connected community with members and future members at its heart
  • Facilitate ACCA’s community to think ahead and drive positive change
  • Draw on the community's collective experience to establish ACCA as a global voice leading the profession, reinforcing out reputation for bold leadership
  • Inspire people, employers, educators and organisations everywhere to join ACCA's growing and evolving community.

Through it, we support the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular:

ACCA's UN Sustainable Development Goals

To achieve our Create and Lead outcomes, we will focus on building our strategic and operational capabilities, through an underpinning Deliver outcome. We’ll focus on building our capabilities in three key areas: partners, talent and digital.

Between now and 2025 our intention is to change continually in order to deliver the strategy:

Partners

Seek bold and exciting partnerships that combine our brand power and influence, so we can lead together

Develop and nurture partnerships based on shared values that drive forward the delivery of our strategy

Draw on our talent and digital capabilities to develop a deep understanding of partners’ needs and aspirations, and identify new opportunities

Seek to co-create solutions with our partners that create mutual and sustainable value

Share knowledge and expertise, and facilitate connections with our partners to benefit our community, the profession and society

Talent

Build a values-driven organisation where people and teams are aligned to the strategy and work together towards our shared ambitions

Develop trusted leaders who connect, inspire and empower teams to deliver value and achieve success in an environment of change

Embrace the diverse thinking and insight of our people to ensure we take a global view and maximisse opportunities and connections across our community

Embed a customer-centric mindset across ACCA, ensuring the decisions we make and the solutions we develop offer maximum customer value

Develop people and teams that are adaptable, ready to embrace new thinking and technology to create and deliver solutions at speed

Deploy ACCA resources in the most efficient way to create long-term value and ensure a successful and sustainable future for ACCA

Digital

Develop the digital and technological capabilities that support the delivery of our strategy

Ensure that people and organisations can trust us with their data

Capture high quality data leading to information and insights that enable better, faster decisions

Deliver a globally consistent, relevant and increasingly personalised experience for customers and teams

Maximise the use of technology to innovate and deliver solutions at speed to the marketplace

Capitalise on our evolving digital capabilities, driving continual improvements and embracing change so we can constantly re-imagine how we deliver success

Targets will be set by the Executive team for these areas of delivery in order to drive organisational progress and will not be linked to remuneration.

Our strategic focus in 2020-21

We’ll assess progress against the strategy to 2025 through seven measures, continuing to adopt a balanced scorecard approach. Council Board will agree targets for all these measures annually.

However, for 2020–21, we’ll deploy a reduced and sharpened focus, designed to help ACCA respond to the Covid-19 crisis in the most agile and sustainable way. This will see us apply a critical strategic focus to:

  • exam delivery and innovation: we want to ensure our exam delivery continues to evolve as the conditions become right for students to sit exams. That includes continuing to roll out computer-based exams at the Strategic Professional level, bringing the market with us as we do so. And to ensure that our students can continue to progress, we are accelerating our exploration of remote exam supervision.
  • member and future member support and retention: our members and future members are at the heart of ACCA, and supporting them through the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic consequences is an absolute priority. In these challenging times, we must be primed and ready to truly demonstrate the ongoing value of membership. If we truly understand and support our community, we will be able to retain them, create ACCA advocates for the future, and also deliver the trusted professional accountancy community the world needs.
  • financial sustainability: in challenging circumstances, we will have a laser focus on costs and plan for a range of scenarios with associated mitigations.
Strategic outcome Measure 2020-21 focus targets
Our vision # of members Member retention
Lead

Brand trust (four measures)

  • Innovation: % agree that ACCA shapes the accountancy profession
  • Integrity: % agree that ACCA promotes the highest professional and ethical standards
  • Inclusion: % agree that ACCA acts with members’ and future members’ best interests at heart
  • Market share
Business and society Financial sustainability Surplus/deficit before tax
Community Net promoter score (NPS)
Create # of future members Future member retention
Knowledge % agree that ACCA understands my needs as a member/future member
Value

Progression (formed of three measures)

  • # of exam entries
  • % passing ACCA exams in a year
  • % of affiliates achieving membership within four years
Our vision # of members Member retention
Lead

Brand trust (four measures)

  • Innovation: % agree that ACCA shapes the accountancy profession
  • Integrity: % agree that ACCA promotes the highest professional and ethical standards
  • Inclusion: % agree that ACCA acts with members’ and future members’ best interests at heart
  • Market share
Business and society Financial sustainability Surplus/deficit before tax
Community Net promoter score (NPS)
Create # of future members Future member retention
Knowledge
% agree that ACCA understands my needs as a member/future member
Value

Progression (formed of three measures)

  • # of exam entries
  • % passing ACCA exams in a year
  • % of affiliates achieving membership within four years

Targets in 2020-21

In line with the areas of critical strategic focus we’ve identified to respond to the challenges and demands of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Council Board has set the following targets for the coming year:

Critical strategic focus measure 2020-21 target
Member retention 94.7%
Future member retention 82.1%
Inclusion: % agree that ACCA acts with members’ and future members’ best interests at heart 70%
Surplus/(deficit) before tax -£8.9m
Member retention
94.7%
Future member retention
82.1%
Inclusion: % agree that ACCA acts with members’ and future members’ best interests at heart
70%
Surplus/(deficit) before tax
-£8.9m

We’ll continue to monitor the other measures on the balanced scorecard for the basis of our planning and future target setting.

While we’re retaining a flexible approach to targets and focus for future years, our current intention is to move to formally measuring against all seven outcomes in 2021-22.