Shaping the future of finance

What will the future of the accounting profession look like? Complete the survey to share your views.

What does the future of the accounting profession look like? It's a question that we at AICPA & CIMA often ask ourselves. We work to ensure that accountants and finance professionals are educated, resilient, and ready for business. Over the past 12 months, our Future of Finance research programme has examined and investigated the ambit of finance in the post-COVID-19 pandemic world, highlighting the proficiencies necessary for our evolution and advancement as a profession.

Back in 2019, our Future of Finance research found that the profession needed a shake-up. The world around us was moving at an incredible pace, and we needed to adopt new mindsets and skills to remain relevant.

The white paper Re-inventing Finance for a Digital World highlighted the importance of digital literacy, technology know-how, and the digital mindset in the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world. The digital mindset, we found, was a fusion of the abilities to confront complexity, to work in an agile and creative manner, and to harness curiosity in order to continually learn — and to know when to unlearn and relearn. Careers were becoming a cycle of fresh learning, rather than a linear journey set in motion by dimly remembered early-stage education.

Four years on, what has changed? In 2023, the world seems to have accepted its VUCA status as an inevitable fact, and "business as unusual" continues. The coronavirus pandemic ushered in new ways of working, and during this time we saw many over-50s leave the workplace, although the "Great Unretirement", driven in part by the soaring cost of living, is reversing the latter trend. Returning to work after an absence gives professionals even more reason to keep their skills up to date. And with more of Gen Z now entering the workplace, things will continue to change. Whatever our career stage, one certainty is that we need to keep learning.

The latest iteration of our Future of Finance study set out to explore the future state of the finance profession and its wider ecosystem, defining essential skills, competencies, and knowledge for our new world. Over the past 12 months, we have spoken with hundreds of finance professionals globally about what the future of the profession means to them.

Now, it's your turn. Our global Future of Finance survey is live, and we want to hear from you. The survey is open until 21 April. Please feel free to share the link with other finance professionals. Over the coming months, we will share our findings and what they mean for the profession.

Rebecca McCaffry, FCMA, CGMA, is associate technical director, Research & Development–Management Accounting at AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. She is currently leading AICPA & CIMA's Future of Finance research programme, which explores the future state of the finance profession and its wider ecosystem, defining essential skills, competencies, and knowledge. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Oliver Rowe at