COVID-19 impacts – Challenges facing the profession and professional accountancy organisations

Published date: June 24, 2020

The coronavirus disease or COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise and brought it to its knees. Its impact is felt across all economies and no sector is spared, including the accountancy profession.

We undertook a survey of our members in order to understand the challenges faced – both in the immediate period and the near future. We are pleased to announce the release of ‘COVID-19 impacts – Challenges facing the profession and professional accountancy organisations’, a report based on the survey.

The report examines the challenges, impacts and organisational responses of professional accountancy organisations (PAOs) as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted businesses and economies around the world. We then sought to identify trends and opportunities that will drive further changes.

What do the responses reveal?

In the words of CAPA President, Dr. Chen Yugui, “The survey responses indicate many challenges are common across jurisdictions and consequently, PAOs in Asia Pacific and beyond can learn from each other as they implement responses and adapt to the new norm.”

Many PAOs reacted swiftly to first ‘weather the storm’ and focus on resolving short-term emergencies which tended to fall into two categories:

  • The needs of people – staff, members and students
  • Adapting operations and managing finances

In the longer term, PAOs agreed that there was a need to:

  • Focus on organisational sustainability
  • Stay relevant to markets and the future accountant

CAPA Chief Executive, Brian Blood, noted the report also outlines some ‘silver linings’. “The accountancy profession was already anticipating many changes and the pandemic has propelled PAOs to consider and embrace opportunities and change rapidly in order to remain relevant and future ready,” he added.

The opportunities that emerged included:

  • More nimble and dynamic operational models
  • Acceleration of digital transformation
  • Increased innovation in service delivery
  • Heightened stakeholder engagement
  • Increased value proposition and relevance of the profession
  • Heightened contribution towards the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals

Leaders understand that a PAO will need to reimagine itself to better serve the profession of the future. The global, regional and national bodies can certainly play their roles to provide the necessary support as the profession and PAOs transition to thrive in the new norm.

Read the full report for more details.

View: COVID-19 impacts | Challenges facing the profession and professional accountancy organisations | PDF | 26 pages