Help reimagine the accounting profession: CPA Canada Foresight

What will become of the accounting profession? The profession is going through unprecedented change and you can help shape its future by joining CPA Canada’s online conversation to share your views on a reimagined future of the profession.

Technology, geopolitical instability, changing societal perspectives, environmental and economic issues are all driving unprecedented change in the accounting profession. CPA Canada is asking CPAs and others to join a conversation to explore these drivers of change and reimagine how they will shape the future of the profession.

A changing world

New technologies, including blockchain and artificial intelligence, shifting societal attitudes towards inclusion and sustainability, and blurring boundaries between industries are all having a profound impact on the accounting profession and the businesses CPAs support.

The accounting profession is on the precipice of a fundamental transformation and how we respond to and manage these changes will impact the future of CPAs, the profession and Canadian business.

"These changes provide an opportunity for the profession to reimagine its future," says Joy Thomas, President and CEO at CPA Canada. "The pace at which the business world is evolving is both fascinating and challenging. Canadian CPAs are bright, adaptable and leading-edge. Along with change comes opportunity, and the new business landscape creates great potential to solidify CPAs as leaders in the business world."

The road ahead

In 2017, CPA Canada undertook a comprehensive examination of the emerging global trends and their potential impact on Canadian organizations. The Drivers of Change: Navigating the Future publication was developed to help organizations better understand and respond to global trends, including economic, environmental, technological, geopolitical and societal shifts.

Expanding this work, CPA Canada is exploring how the drivers of change will impact the future of the accounting profession. CPA Canada Foresight: Reimagining the Profession, is a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder project to help shape that future.

The Foresight project combines in-person roundtables with a digital conversation you can join that will provide members and other stakeholders with the opportunity to participate in these important discussions.

The outcome of the roundtables will be the creation of scenarios to identify future directions for the profession in areas such as external reporting, audit and assurance, tax, financial management, and strategy, risk and governance, highlight employment opportunities and skill sets needed for CPAs to remain essential players, and consider the implications of the global regulatory environment.

Throughout the process, which runs from July to early 2019, members and other stakeholders are encouraged to get involved and join in on the conversation.

Outcomes of a reimagined future

CPA Canada Foresight will enable our members to remain industry leaders on the forefront of change.

AI, for example, enables entire data sets to be analyzed in minutes – positive progress for the accountant as it creates opportunity for CPAs to harness this technology to provide more efficient and effective services to clients. We are already seeing examples of the benefits.

“From the auditor’s perspective, we are using data analysis tools to pinpoint specific risks for deeper audit testing,” says Richard Olfert, FCPA, FCA, CMC Managing Partner, Regulatory, Quality & Risk and leader of The Deloitte Institute for Audit Innovation and Quality. “AI delivers capacity to automate the examination of immense populations of documents for features of audit interest.”

“By bringing multiple voices, ideas and perspectives together this is a unique and innovative approach to determining how best to respond to the drivers of change,” says Tashia Batstone, Senior Vice-President, External Relations and Business Development, at CPA Canada.

“The changing business world offers opportunity for CPAs to fulfill their roles as strategic leaders, in addition to being experts in finance and accounting. Remaining industry leaders by ensuring professional accountants are prepared to continue to add value to their organizations and clients is essential in this rapidly changing business environment, which is why CPA Canada is excited to be facilitating this important discussion.”

Get involved

Be part of the movement that’s reimagining the future of our profession by joining a conversation to explore the drivers of change and how they will shape the future of the profession.