Looking ahead: The view from Andrew Harding

CEO of Management Accounting for the Association of International Certified Professional
Andrew Harding

β€˜To grow, we will need to transform our organisation so that our resources are aligned for maximum benefit for our increasingly global profession, and our members and students.’

People across the world are increasingly wanting to talk to our Association; it is clear that businesses and governments recognise us as leaders of our profession.

CGMA is a truly global designation, with members and students on every continent. However, to fully realise our ambition we need to push into particular markets. According to PwC's The Long View: How Will the Global Economic Order Change by 2050?, world GDP could double by 2042, barring major global catastrophes. However, growth over the next 30-plus years will be driven by emerging market economies. The world's economic power is continuing to shift to the East, with China expected to be the largest economy by 2050 and India taking second place, edging past the US. Indonesia is expected to rise to fourth place, and Vietnam, the Philippines, and Nigeria could show the greatest movement up the rankings.

Currently, while the Association has members and students in 179 countries, more than 80% of them are in two countries: the UK and the US. To grow, we will need to transform our organisation so that our resources are aligned for maximum benefit for our increasingly global profession, and our members and students. We will need to continue to allocate resources and invest in serving members digitally.

The world is changing. Across all sectors, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that 60% of people will see 30% of their work disrupted by technology in the next decade.

Our profession is also changing dramatically, with technology being the key driver. Robotics are predicted to automate or eliminate much basic processing β€” this means members will need an agile mindset in developing their own skills to ensure they remain in demand by employers. There will increasingly be an imperative to "learn, unlearn, and relearn".

According to the Association's 2017 Salary Survey, our students' number one learning requirement is for accounting systems skills. As new and yet-to-be-designed technologies emerge, this appetite will only increase. It is critical that we lead the profession in competency development and provide learning materials that support all professionals. We have a big opportunity to reskill the profession.

To do this requires a solid research-based approach. Surveys and field research via face-to-face interviews and roundtables with business leaders and finance professionals on every continent is a key part of our Future of Finance research project. It will feed into the CGMA Competency Framework and CGMA syllabus for students, and learning for members.

Meanwhile, we continue to initiate vital learning resources that support members in the changing profession.

Our success will be measured by how we are able to help members and the degree to which we are able to contribute to their development.

Ultimately, we need to deliver new and expanded resources for our members, relevant learning opportunities, and increasingly focused advocacy. As the Association goes forward into 2018, we will work to deliver on that promise.