New programmes to help accountants thrive in disruptive age

Accountants and finance professionals have many opportunities to thrive in the digital age, even though some traditional accounting roles may disappear in coming years.

While the accounting profession is facing disruption like all industries, more new jobs are being created by fast-moving developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, big data and block chain technologies.

Accountants can ride the waves of disruption at the workplace if they work to build new digital capabilities and skills.

This was the central view of senior business executives participating in today’s CPA Congress, organised by global accountancy professional body CPA Australia.

“Business disruption, brought about by innovative new business models and emerging technologies, are already making some traditional accounting roles obsolete,” said Philip Yuen, CEO of Deloitte Southeast Asia and Singapore.

“Building capabilities for companies and accounting and finance professionals is therefore a must and not a nice-to-have,” added Mr Yuen, who is also Singapore Divisional President of CPA Australia.

To help accountants adjust to disruption, CPA Australia has expanded its partnership with NTUC U Associate and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to create a new training programme called ‘Your Business & Finance Advantage’.

The new suite of 20 courses aims to help accounting and finance professionals develop future-ready skills to meet evolving industry needs.

Training covers the key areas of Finance Operations, Advanced Finance Operations, Business Operations, and Personal Effectiveness or “soft skills”.

These pathways also support upward mobility to cater to the lifelong learning needs of professionals going from junior-mid level positions to management roles.

“This programme is specifically designed to help accounting and finance professionals stay relevant, improve their value to business, and acquire new competencies of the future – up-skilling that is even more critical given the unprecedented pace of disruption facing the accounting profession now,” said Melvin Yong, Singapore Country Head, CPA Australia.

Singaporeans and permanent residents will be eligible for training subsidies of up to 50 per cent of the course fees.

NTUC U Associate says the new programme’s focus on continuing education will benefit professionals going ahead.

“With digital disruption redefining our roles at the workplace today, it is quite timely to roll-out this programme which would equip our accounting & finance professionals in areas such as cyber security and analytics. In addition, the programme also prepares them to take on leadership roles with skills in communications and personal effectiveness. The Labour Movement would continue to partner CPA Australia, one of our key U Associates, to ensure our accounting and finance professionals can progress in their careers and be future-ready,” says Vivek Kumar, Director of NTUC U Associate and Future Leaders Programme.

The new initiative was announced to more than 370 captains of industry and accounting professionals attending the CPA Congress.

The guest of honour was Mr Chan Chun Sing, NTUC Secretary-General and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Based on the theme “Connecting the biggest minds,” CPA Congress 2016 brought together the biggest minds to discuss hot button issues for business, including grooming new leadership in the digital age, the megatrends affecting the corporate world, and building business resilience in difficult times.