The #Stateofprofession report presents a compelling and unique picture of the accounting and financial ecosystem in Africa
LONDON, May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Groundbreaking study of the accounting profession in Africa reveals that 55% of accountants are optimistic about africa economic outlook, but skills shortages, particularly in the areas of technology and strategy, are a major concern for respondents.
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Accountants), PAFA (the Pan African Federation of Accountants) and PwC have joined forces to develop the State of the profession in Africa report, 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 more than 100 participants at various business and public sector roundtables, organized to gather expert opinions across Africa.
The research was analyzed under four themes – capacity building, partnerships, influencing 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 results 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, and 40% of all members surveyed highlighted the ability to integrate climate change and ‘ESG in Financial Reporting as a Major Skills Lack.
The report asserts that partnerships are essential for the accountancy profession to be resilient and offers various calls to action for accountants, PBOs and the many stakeholders in the finance and accountancy ecosystem – including higher education institutions , business, public sector, standardization – decision makers and regulators, governments and policy makers.
jamil ampomah, Director of ACCA Africa says: “Respondents’ views on ESG are certainly a wake-up call. Barriers must be overcome, as accounting professionals have a unique opportunity to lead the adoption of ESG in their organizations, in their own country, anywhere in the world. Africa and globally. One of the report’s strong recommendations is that the profession hones itself here – the tools and skills are available to do so, so the opportunity is waiting to be seized.
High Prinsloo, CEO of PAFA, adds: “If the accountancy profession is to be fit for the future, it must be digital, contribute to socio-economic development and play a key role in building ethical and sustainable businesses. To facilitate this, more and better collaboration is imperative – and this starts with national PBOs. PAFA stands ready to facilitate collaboration between PBOs and stakeholders to respond to the calls to action contained in the report.
Marie Iwelumo, Partner, PwC Nigeria and Head of Strategy for PwC West Market, added: “We were surprised by the finding that accountants generally did not expect ESG to have a significant impact on the profession and professionals over the next decade. At PwC, we had hoped that the knowledge that ESG is a business imperative would be universal, especially among professionals who have a seat and a voice at the table of business leaders. This disturbing discovery should therefore encourage us all to work together to build an education system that will equip accountants to anticipate, prepare for and thrive in the future.
The report’s top ten statistics show that:
- When it comes to global accounting standards, 81% of respondents say that International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have been adopted in all countries. Africa.
- 71% of accountants expect the digital transformation of accounting functions to be the biggest game-changer for the profession over the next decade.
- 64% have seen accounting professionals become CEOs or directors in their organization.
- 53% say stricter regulatory and statutory compliance will impact the profession.
- Almost half – 49% – of respondents believe that the professional accountant contributes to strategic direction and the development of business knowledge in the upper echelons of organizations.
- Accountants in Africa are the most optimistic about the implementation of environmentally friendly policies and investments in infrastructure – each at 30%.
- 43% are pessimistic about the uncertain political situation and for 39% it is political uncertainty.
- 45% say most senior professionals in their organizations are involved in the traditional roles of organizing, controlling, processing and reporting financial transactions.
- 47% say another important trend is predictive accounting software such as forecasting and data analysis tools
- 47% say tax policy changes are an important future trend.
Notes to Editors
About ACCA: ACCA is the Association of Chartered Chartered Accountants. We are a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions that uphold the highest professional and ethical values.
We believe that accounting is a fundamental profession of society that supports both the public and private sectors. This is why we are committed to developing a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits this brings to society and individuals.
Since 1904, being a force for the public good has been embedded in Our goal. And because we are a not-for-profit organization, we are building a sustainable global profession by reinvesting our surplus to deliver member value and grow the profession for the next generation.
With our world-leading ACCA qualification, we offer everyone, everywhere the opportunity to enjoy a rewarding career in accounting, finance and management. And through our respected research, we’re leading the profession in answering today’s questions and preparing for tomorrow.
About PAFA: PAFA is the continental body representing africa professional accountants. Established in May 2011, the non-profit organization currently has 56 Professional Accountancy Organization (PAO) members and associates from 45 countries. Our mission is to accelerate and improve the reach of the accountancy profession – working in the public interest, facilitating commerce and improving benefits and quality services for africa citizens.
The PAFA mandate is based on the premise that national PBOs have the capacity to drive responsible financial management practices, accountability, transparency and effective governance in public and private entities. PAFA’s unique ability to develop institutional capacity contributes to accelerating economic growth and reducing poverty in Africa. Our strategic objectives and the economic and societal benefits they generate contribute to the achievement of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more about pafa.org.za
About PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC): PwC is a network of companies in 156 countries with more than 295,000 problem solvers – all committed to creating trusted solutions and high quality advice. Our trusted solutions include organization assurance and tax related services while our advisory solutions provide a diverse range of services including digital transformation, cybersecurity and tax advisory across different industries, socio sectors -economic, private and public. PwC’s core strength is its ability to build effective, well-managed and sustainable teams that can advise organizations on complex projects across a wide range of areas. We apply their professional expertise to identify, report, protect, realize and create value for clients and stakeholders. Our global presence in all markets enables PwC to achieve our network purpose unparalleled. Learn more about pwc.com