The global financial crisis pitched accountants into the spotlight, and they must respond by leading business towards more sustainable, ethical business models, the profession’s top figures argued at the recent World Congress of Accountants.
More than 6,000 accountants gathered in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend to discuss topics ranging from the economic crisis to the role of audit, international accounting standards, governance and Islamic finance.
The final plenary session Accountants in the next decade drew together a panel of executives from the ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA and US and Australian accountancy bodies presented their vision of the future.
“The clear consensus among the panel was that increased globalization and the recent financial crisis have placed the profession squarely in the spotlight,” commented IFAC chief executive officer Ian Ball.
CIMA chief executive Charles Tilly picked up the theme in his blog on the event. As well as assessing what they have learnt from the financial crisis, accountants need to enhance their skills, “keep communicating properly and retain our objectivity”, he wrote.
Putting in a word on behalf of his members, Tilly described the role of the management accountant as being the “corporate navigator” of the business, acting as the guardian of the business model and providing the board with direction and the right information.”