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Accountancy seen as key to China's lead in finance

By Chen Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-09 10:39
Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA. [Photo/ACCA]

A global association of accountancy professionals expects China to play a more significant role in promoting globalization and in developing international financial standards and regulatory frameworks.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or ACCA said the China-led Belt and Road Initiative has the potential to connect participating countries "in a truly modern and mutually beneficial way".

The B&R Initiative is exciting as the nation's accelerating opening-up will "increase prosperity and bring in invaluable cross-cultural exchanges", said Helen Brand (pictured), chief executive of ACCA.

Brand made the remarks during her recent visit to China for ACCA's 30th anniversary in the country.

"In being outward-looking and opportunity-focused, China is creating new opportunities for business and for the accountancy profession-fresh and exciting challenges for both professional accountants across China and across the world," Brand said.

ACCA was the first global accountancy body to establish its presence in the Chinese mainland in 1988. The association has committed itself to strengthening its network within China in the future by training skilled and ethical finance professionals, and connecting them via its broad global network, to ensure that "the right strategic decision-makers lead and shape economies".

ACCA and the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants or CICPA jointly signed an agreement on strategic cooperation on June 22 that committed to further developing their work together to create professional accountants with international vision.

"As the world's second-largest economy, China has become the centre of the global supply chain, an important exporter and consumer of commodities, while at the same time being a global leader in the digital economy," Brand said.

"We're committed to supporting growth in China by thinking ahead and, connecting local businesses, finance professionals and other stakeholders through our global network. It is an exciting time in the history of China, with its drive to open up new trade routes and marketplaces, to build on existing connections and, to create new ones," Brand said.

With 10 years of experience as ACCA CEO, Brand said that the gap between China's current financial professions and the global standard has been almost bridged. China has been leading the world's technological innovations and making new rules under the global financial regulatory framework.

One of the benefits that the ACCA network could bring is the shared high standards and ethical values across the international profession, as the future global economic stability relies on strong connectivity, she said.

Brand has also noticed that the connectivity between finance and technology is transforming the finance professional's role, along with the trend that digital capabilities are creating new ways of analyzing, understanding and presenting information.

The association is currently introducing major innovations to its flagship program. Successful completion of this program is deemed a valuable qualification by employers. ACCA is also revising curriculum of some of its courses, to ensure its members continue to be valued and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

ACCA has introduced a course this year called "Strategic Business Leader", a "mini MBA" targeting its members so that they could meet the future demand of their employers and stakeholders, Leo Lee, ACCA's newly elected global president, told China Daily in an earlier interview.

Communication, strategic and global mindset, and leadership, are the new characteristics that business leaders should have for the digital era, Brand said.

ACCA's training content will be updated regularly to support the new generation of professionals, she said.

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