How accountants can bridge the global infrastructure gap

To address the world's global infrastructure gap, accountants must be brought to the centre of the decision-making process and engaged across the entire life cycle of infrastructure projects as critical members of the professional team.

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Infrastructure is critical for economic and social development across the world. Transport infrastructure allows us to travel to work and transport goods to different markets. Power and utility systems provide us with the energy and services that we need to survive. We all rely on infrastructure systems to ensure that our basic human needs are met.

CPA Canada and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) are pleased to present this joint global study, How accountants can bridge the global infrastructure gap: Improving outcomes across the entire project life cycle. For the purposes of this study, the term 'global infrastructure gap' refers to the difference between the infrastructure investment needed and the resources made available to address that need.

Globally, some top barriers to meeting infrastructure needs are:

  • lack of political leadership
  • lack of finance or funding
  • planning and regulatory barriers

Accountants can play a critical role in bridging the gap at every stage of the project life cycle, from the planning stage to delivery. There is international good practice that accountants can adopt to improve in all areas of the project. For example:

  • take the lead in applying standard selection tools to determine the need for, and priority of, a project
  • advocate a more holistic approach to maintaining fiscal discipline to avoid poor financial decisions driven by "fiscal illusions"
  • implement proper monitoring and oversight for all projects

Download the report to get the full list of recommendations based on international good practice demonstrating how accountants, governments and professional bodies can close the infrastructure gap.