ACCA outlines main priorities for accountancy profession in 2017

A list of priorities for the year ahead has been published by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), which will look to address uncertainties such as Brexit negotiations.

Securing the skills of accountants, the necessity for accountants to address rapidly changing business needs, and the promotion of transferable skills within apprenticeships, were the three key priorities listed.

“The focus on skills in the wish list reflects the increasingly vital role professional accountants play in the wider UK economy,” said John Williams, Head of ACCA UK.

“Accountancy professionals must gear up for years of uncertainty and build upon existing competencies to offer trusted, technically advanced advice as businesses prepare to navigate changing trade relationships, new regulatory environments and put together reliable financial forecasts.”

With Brexit negotiations on the horizon, ACCA believes it is crucial for strategic finance professionals to be forward-thinking, and for them to be significantly involved within companies.

Another significant event happening this year is the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. Companies will offer more apprenticeship positions, using funding to do so, although 50 per cent of respondents in ACCA research were critical of an apprenticeship.

Mr Williams added: “The success of apprenticeships will depend very much on both supply and demand if they are to succeed in opening up new and high quality career pathways.

“Although apprenticeships offer direct routes into specific sectors the schemes are engineered to offer a range of transferable skills including leadership, project management, financial management and communication.”