Gord Beal at day 2 of WCOA: CPA Canada-Expo Presentation

CPA Canada helped kick off day one with a special Sponsor Showcase presentation, Climate change and the role of accountants in creating adaptive organizations, led by Gordon Beal, vice-president of research, guidance and support at CPA Canada. (Kristjan Porm, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand)

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Climate change and how the profession is evolving key themes at World Congress of Accountants

At the three-day event in Sydney, Australia, CPA Canada played a key role delivering two presentations and moderating a panel

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Leadership, sustainability and embracing disruptive technology were some of the main themes at this year’s World Congress of Accountants (WCOA), which was held in Sydney, Australia. And as a sponsor, CPA Canada played an influential role in the conference programming that focused on transforming the accounting profession.

The three-day event, from November 5-8, hosted almost 5, 600 delegates from as far as the United States, Mongolia and Nigeria. Some of the notable speakers included hacker turned cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, Bollywood filmmaker and former CA Shekar Kapur and author/TEDx speaker Sir Ken Robinson. [See Top 10 moments of WCOA 2018]

CPA Canada helped kick off day one with a special Sponsor Showcase presentation, Climate change and the role of accountants in creating adaptive organizations, led by Gordon Beal, vice-president of research, guidance and support at CPA Canada.

“It’s not about creating climate change experts,” said Beal. “It’s about how professional accountants apply the skills and competencies they already have in their toolbelt in helping their organizations become more adaptable and to integrate the issues of climate change into the way they look at strategy, risk, their operations…in fact, the way they look at their fundamental business models.”

On day three, CPA Canada CEO Joy Thomas moderated a discussion titled The innovation-led finance function, with panelists that included Janelle Hopkins, FCA, group financial officer at the Australian Post; Jacqueline Chan, CPA, managing director and CFO of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd.; and Daniel Papallo, CA, global planning and finance transformation controller at Cochlear. 

“What would you say is the No. 1 challenge you and your finance team face?,” was the poll question the 1,300 audience members attending the panel session were asked. The top two responses were “building an innovative culture” and “dealing with change.”

Thomas emphasized accountants must remain agile and be able to adapt in the changing operating environment. “Collectively, we must be future-focused, recognizing that change will continue to disrupt business models and alter the future of work but also create new opportunities,” she said. 

With the evolving accounting profession a key point of discussion, CPA Canada’s Foresight: Reimagining the Profession project was perfectly placed to showcase its vision on an international stage.

“With the pace of global change accelerating, it is time for accountants worldwide to join a conversation that will help shape the future of business,” said Tashia Batstone, senior vice-president, external relations and business development at CPA Canada. She spoke about the process of the initiative and how technology was being employed to engage a wide international audience.

For complete coverage of each day’s events, visit wcoa2018.sydney/news.

Reported by the WCOA Congress Daily