A A groundbreaking study on the accountancy profession in Africa shows that 55% of accountants are optimistic about Africa’s economic prospects, but skills shortages, particularly in the areas of technology and strategy, are a major concern for the responders.
The Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA), the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) and PwC have joined forces to develop the report on the state of the profession in Africa, interviewing over 1,750 professionals to gather their views on the profession’s contributions to the continent, as well as the challenges, threats and opportunities ahead. The report also collects feedback from over 100 participants at various business and public sector roundtables, convened to gather the opinions of experts across Africa.
The research was analyzed under four themes: capacity building, partnerships, influence for socio-economic development and future preparation of the profession.
Focusing on capacity building, technology (53%) was the largest skills gap identified, followed by strategic planning, market intelligence and performance management (49.3%).
The findings revealed a startling paradox for the profession in building ethical and sustainable businesses while lacking environmental, social and governance (ESG) insight. Some 57% say this limits the involvement of professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) and their members in climate change and ESG programs.
Alarmingly, 92% of accountants working in the mining industry do not see ESG among the top three industry trends changing the future, and 40% of all members surveyed highlighted the ability to integrate climate change and ESG in financial reporting as a major skills gap. .