The Country Manager of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Mrs Doris Ahiati, has urged accountants to be proactive and anticipate future challenges and develop solutions to address those challenges ahead of time.
She encouraged them to move away from the normal bookkeeping role of accountants and think of how to develop their organisations.
“Today’s world doesn’t really need bookkeeping because most of them are automated now, so people who still think the accountant profession is about bookkeeping are going to be extinct,” she stated.
Mrs Ahiati said this in an interview with the media after the induction ceremony of new members into the ACCA.
“In an organisation, the professional accountant should be able to look at the books and determine that this is how the business is going, and this is how we can best finance the operations to get the optimised results,” she mentioned.
“Accountancy is now about thinking and coming up with solutions. Very often, you see projects that are started but later abandoned and this happens because we didn’t have a good professional accountant who analysed the project from beginning to end to know how to finance it,” she added.
She said a good accountant must assess the resource needs of the projects properly and identify the optimum way of allocating the financial resources appropriately.
Induction of new members
The ACCA, a global body for professional accountants, held a ceremony to induct 207 new members into the professional body.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Finance at the Judicial Service of Ghana, Dr Kwame Antwi-Boasiako, urged the newly inducted members to uphold the path of professional integrity and ethical principles that had been charted by their predecessors in order to protect the image of the accounting profession.
He advised them not to depart from the ACCA Rule Book, which was the definitive guide to the association’s bye-laws, regulations, code of ethics and conduct.
The Chairman of the ACCA Ghana Network Panel, Mr Henry Tetteh Djangmah, also cautioned them to stick to the ethical standards of the ACCA and urged them to exhibit their professionalism wherever they found themselves.
“I hope you are going to harness your membership with ACCA and fully take advantage of the internationalisation of ACCA to further build yourselves into competitive finance professionals whose services can be rewarded greatly,” he noted.
Challenges and opportunities
Mr Tetteh Djangmah also pointed out that the next decade would be a period of rapid changes for the accounting profession as competition would intensify; as new entrants such as banks, other financial service companies, software and internet firms and even government agencies were offering an increasing array of accounting and tax-related products and services.
“Consulting and business advisory firms, as well as other non-accountants will also become increasingly competitive. These firms will leverage on new software, data and analytical tools to provide new accounting-related services,” he mentioned.
The chairman believes these changes will provide numerous challenges and opportunities for finance professionals.
He said automation and outsourcing would also continue to impact the profession, as it would replace the manual processes and labour, especially for routine and lower value services.
“This shifting business environment is also creating new opportunities for the profession as the continued expansion of regulatory and legal requirements will increase the demand for compliance services, and this creates opportunities for the growing number of accountants,” he said.