Geo Tau Aisay

Major new international study from ACCA discovers what makes the ‘Perfect Professional’ in 2016 and beyond

Intellect, creativity, emotional intelligence, vision, experience, technical skills and a mastery of the digital world are seven key skill areas sought by employers now and in the future 

An optimum blend of skills, experience and intelligence is now needed by professional accountants, finds an in-depth global research project from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

Speaking at the launch of the report, Helen Brand OBE, ACCA’s chief executive said:

acca‘The accountant’s role has been revolutionised over the past decade, with finance professionals becoming leaders, trusted expert counsel and key strategic advisers to organisations whether in the public or private sectors. 

‘With this metamorphosis comes a requirement for a whole new set of skills. On top of technical excellence, professional accountants now require creativity, emotional intelligence and the vision to lead.’

With input and insight from over 2,000 business and finance professionals around the world, Professional accountants – the future is the most in depth analysis of the profession – and where it is headed – ever conducted says Helen Brand:

‘We discovered a brave new world of more regulation, greater globalisation, ever increasing risk, and of course, massive technological advancement. The accountancy profession has to be ahead of the curve on all fronts – trained to the highest of professional standards, looking beyond the numbers and with a global mind set.’

To define what the 2016 finance professional must look like, ACCA has developed a set of seven Professional Quotients – a mix of technical knowledge, skills and abilities formed with interpersonal behaviours and qualities. 

Technical and ethical competencies (TEQ): The skills and abilities to perform activities consistently to a defined standard. Often based on a professional qualification.

Intelligence (IQ): The ability to acquire and use knowledge: thinking, reasoning and solving problems. 

Creativity (CQ): The ability to use existing knowledge in a new situation, to make connections, explore potential outcomes, and generate new ideas. 

Digital quotient (DQ):  The awareness and application of existing and emerging digital technologies, capabilities, practices, strategies and culture. 

Emotional intelligence (EQ):  The ability to identify your own emotions and those of others, harness and apply them to tasks, and regulate and manage them. 

Vision (VQ): The ability to predict future trends accurately by extrapolating existing trends and facts, and filling the gaps by thinking innovatively.  

Experience (XQ): The ability and skills to understand customer expectations, meet desired outcomes and create value. 

According to Helen Brand, her message to current and aspiring accountants is that a blend of all these attributes makes the perfect finance professional, ready for the global business challenges they will face:

‘These ‘magnificent seven’ strengths show the way ahead. They are the means by which accountants use their technical knowledge, skills and abilities blended with the interpersonal behaviours and qualities to put them to use.

‘Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. The key is to recognise where you excel and where you need to work to build your competency through the continuous professional development which professional accountants already know so well.’

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