Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 12th 2013 Contents BG10 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt DECEMBER 2013 • WEEK TWO
Seventy-five per cent of members of the As-
sociation of Chartered Certified Accountants
(ACCA) members have set timeframes for
achieving their career aspirations, finds the
latest careers survey by ACCA.
Achieving career aspirations is high on the
agendas of ACCA members, reveals the latest
global careers survey published by the global
body for professional accountants, the ACCA
said in a statement on the survey results.
The global report further shows that 73 per
cent of those surveyed around the world aim
to achieve their career ambitions in the next
The survey also shows:
Sixty-three per cent of ACCA members sur-
veyed have multisector experience-moves be-
tween sectors happen in all directions but,
most frequently, to and from the corporate
One in three respondents intends to stay
with his or her current employer for more than
In the past 12 months, 31 per cent of respon-
dents have changed jobs; more than half of
such job moves taking place within the same
organisation (51 per cent of all job changes).
Leading a finance team; working in a special-
ist finance role; and working in another coun-
try; are the top three career achievements
already recorded by ACCA members.
Survey respondents have many future ambi-
tions, but 61 per cent are aiming, with their
next career move, to gain a more senior posi-
Thirty-two per cent of respondents globally
are thinking of starting their own business
later in their careers.
ACCA members who hold positions such as
chief executive, chairman or president , as well
as those working as CFOs, COOs, finance di-
rectors, audit directors, executive directors,
general managers and commercial directors,
are relatively more likely to have multi-sector
experience (70 per cent). In contrast, propri-
etors, managing partners, partners and sole
practitioners are less likely to do so (40 per
Neil Stevenson, ACCA's executive director,
brand, said: "This year's members' careers sur-
vey shows just how aspirational they are, look-
ing to the future and building their careers as
complete finance professionals.
"Results show that many believe working
abroad is key to expanding career horizons.
Sixty-six per cent value the opportunity to
gain additional skills and knowledge, while 62
per cent want to experience another culture.
"This ties in very well with ACCA's core val-
ues of opportunity and diversity. It is also con-
sistent with our overall belief that the ACCA
Qualification opens up truly mobile career op-
tions across sectors and borders. This survey
provides evidence that many of our members
have been able to benefit from flexible and ful-
filling career paths to suit their aspirations,"
read the statement.
How (rather than to what
extent) is the business
world going to be impact-
ed by big data? This is the
most relevant question
accountants and finance
professionals should ask themselves, claims
a report recently released by Association
of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
and the Institute of Management Account-
Big data: its power and perils demonstrate
the potential for business of all sizes, gov-
ernments and regulators in harnessing this
wealth of unstructured information but the
potential legal and ethical pitfalls are clear.
The ACCA said a recent survey by ACCA
and IMA 62 per cent globally cited big data
as hugely important to the future of busi-
ness, potentially giving savvy businesses
an edge on their competitors. The volume
and variety of data able to be collected by
businesses and governments is increasing
at intense rate, providing a potential treasure
trove of information. The ability to organise,
make sense and analyse it is at the core of
the substantial investments that corpora-
tions are making.
Faye Chua, ACCA head of future research,
said in the statement: "It s not a matter of
when big data will become important; it
already is. Where the potential lies is in
being able to analyse and put this infor-
mation to use.
Big data represents one of the biggest
opportunities the finance profession has
seen in recent times. Using their analytical
skills, they will be able to provide senior
management with real time updates on a
wider set of variables, which will place them
at the heart of business strategy.
"We have talked for many years about
the finance function being about more than
just providing end-of-year reports and big
data makes this a reality. Their ethical stew-
ardship will also be vital, by combining
their analytical skills and ethics, they will
finally become the cornerstone of business
strategy and success."
It s not just the private-sector where big
data will prove invaluable. Big data will
make it easier for auditors and regulators
to spot large scale fraud. Authorities are
already using big data in their investigations,
read the ACCA statement.
Raef Lawson, Phd, CMA, CPA, IMA vice
president of research, said: "While big data
may provide huge opportunities for busi-
nesses, we must also bear in mind that pri-
vacy is high on the agenda of governments
We ve seen high-profile protests about
the amount of data that organisations are
holding, and, in some cases, selling. It is
vital that finance professionals steer their
organisations carefully through this ethical
and legal minefield.
"In order to use big data we will need
to see a move away from working in silos
and more cross-departmental co-operation.
Data and more importantly, the results of
data analysis, must be shared for the com-
pany to make informed, evidence-based
decisions and equally to manage future
The report acknowledges that accountants
are neither software engineers or data sci-
entists, but they could be in the future.
Increasingly, accountants will help decide
the financial content used in data visual-
ization and company dashboards and how
non-financial data should be overlaid on
it. They will be required to help create a
common visual language for data.
Faye Chua concluded: "Big data will bring
a change in focus for many finance pro-
fessionals, the traditional roles of the chief
financial officer; chief technology officer
and chief information officer will be unrec-
ognizable in the future. Their roles will be
more strategic and forward looking. The
speed at which they are able to embrace
this change will have a huge impact on the
ability of the business to make the most
the potential offered by big data."
In compiling the research, ACCA and
IMA reviewed the existing information on
big data, held roundtable discussion with
leading finance professionals and conducted
interviews with big data experts.
"Big data" and other ACCA and IMA
reports are available through the ACCA and
IMA joint Web site, roleofcfo.com, a resource
for finance leaders and aspiring profession-
ACCA global careers survey:
New report points to legal, ethical pitfalls
Big data: The power or peril
of the finance profession?
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