2019 - October
ICAEW and ISCA release research report on digital transformation in finance functions
08 Oct 2019 Category: Media Releases
Tuesday 8 October 2019
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) today jointly released a research report, titled, “Digital transformation in finance functions: ASEAN and UK perspectives”. The report presents findings from research undertaken by ICAEW and ISCA on the practical experience of professional accountants and other experts who are involved in the digital transformation of finance functions across the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Kingdom (UK).
The report highlights three key themes that underpin successful digital transformation: an urgent need for more collaboration between finance and other business functions; strong leadership to drive changes and inspire professional accountants to acquire the relevant skillset; and an iterative approach that focuses on small and continual improvements for greater agility.
It explores how digital transformation in finance functions can deliver benefits to businesses in the region, as well as practical considerations for a successful transformation. This includes how to maximise the value of current technology, the skills that professional accountants will need to develop to work with emerging technologies and cultivating a culture of continuous learning.
“ISCA is pleased to collaborate with ICAEW for the fourth consecutive year to provide thought leadership on key topics at the forefront of changes impacting the accountancy profession. Companies and their finance functions should embark on their digital transformation journey sooner rather than later to reap the benefits of going digital. Notwithstanding, we must not lose sight of the human element. As part of the change management strategy for finance transformation, it is important that companies continuously invest in the re-skilling and up-skilling of accountancy professionals and communicate with them about the benefits of leveraging technology to drive growth,” said Mr Lee Fook Chiew, Chief Executive Officer, ISCA.
“We are delighted to partner with ISCA to unveil our research findings on digital transformation in finance functions, which aim to provide practical insights and reflections on the challenges and opportunities for the profession moving forward,” said Kirstin Gillon, ICAEW Global Tech Research Lead and principal project researcher, “The diverse perspectives that we gain from observing finance functions at different stages of their digital transformation journeys across the region and in the UK enable us to recognise common pitfalls, as well as indicators of success. These are especially insightful in a time of rapid technological changes, where professional accountants must recognise the urgency of making this transition to remain trusted business advisors and shift their focus to higher-value work that will contribute to the success of their organisations.”
The report identified the difficulty of sustained investment in new technologies and the lack of standard processes as common challenges that accountants face when embarking on their digital transformation journeys. For finance functions in particular, strong data governance processes must also be put in place to ensure that the data used by accountants is high-quality, standardised and accessible. These processes have to be put in place to form a solid foundation for digital transformation efforts to build on.
While the focus of digital transformation has been on technological skills, business knowledge and softer skills, such as communication, empathy and problem-solving are equally important. The report also highlighted that strong leadership and a clear vision are essential to delivering transformation, supported by consistent board sponsorship and the right people to drive change on the ground.
The report findings are uncovered through a series of individual interviews with chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs) and professionals who are closely involved with digital transformation initiatives in finance from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and the UK.
The key highlights of the report were presented at the launch event in Singapore, followed by a panel discussion, which brought together innovators and industry experts to share their perspectives and experiences in implementing digital transformation. Panellists include representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank and artificial intelligence start-up TAIGER.
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Notes to editors:
For the full “Digital transformation in finance functions: ASEAN and UK perspectives” research report, please download here.
For high-resolution photos of the event, please download here.
- Contact Amy Tee, ICAEW Singapore, on +65 6407 1527, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Jinnie Nguyen, OPRG Singapore, on +65 6399 1066, or email email@example.com
- Contact Betsy Tan, ISCA, on +65 6597 5608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
There are over 1.8m chartered accountants and students around the world – talented, ethical and committed professionals who use their expertise to ensure we have a successful and sustainable future.
Over 180,000 of these are ICAEW Chartered Accountants and students. We train, develop and support each one of them so that they have the knowledge and values to help build local and global economies that are sustainable, accountable and fair.
We’ve been at the heart of the accountancy profession since we were founded in 1880 to ensure trust in business. We share our knowledge and insight with governments, regulators and business leaders worldwide as we believe accountancy is a force for positive economic change across the world.
ICAEW is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance.
About the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA)
The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) is the national accountancy body of Singapore. ISCA’s vision is to be a globally recognised professional accountancy body, bringing value to our members, the profession and wider community. There are over 32,000 ISCA members making their stride in businesses across industries in Singapore and around the world.
Established in 1963, ISCA is an advocate of the interests of the profession. Possessing a Global Mindset, with Asian Insights, ISCA leverages its regional expertise, knowledge, and networks with diverse stakeholders to contribute towards Singapore’s transformation into a global accountancy hub.
ISCA is the Designated Entity to confer the Chartered Accountant of Singapore - CA (Singapore) - designation.
ISCA is a member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, a global family that brings together the members of leading institutes to create a community of over 1.8 million Chartered Accountants and students in more than 190 countries.
For more information, visit www.isca.org.sg.