RMIT University in partnership with the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand recently hosted a forum on the future of the accounting industry.
The annual Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) Thought Leadership Forum examines the future of accounting in order to understand and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.
The focus of the 2016 forum was on the future of professional associations and how they will operate in 2026.
Professional associations were originally formed to establish the legitimacy of members within a specialised professional field and there are a number of benefits to belonging to one including networking, career opportunities, grants and professional development.
However the rapid development of communication technology and rise of social media means that many of these activities are now being undertaken outside the traditional professional associations’ scope of influence.
Forum presenters discussed the widely held view that associations that resist change will be bypassed and transcended however, those that adjust with new structures and approaches are expected to remain highly relevant.
Presentation topics included:
- The changing face of professional services delivery: Challenges and opportunities
- The role and nature of professional development education in the future
- Future tensions in professional associations
- The influence of accreditation and the state of relationships with higher education
One of the keys learnings for participants was that the future is changing rapidly and the threats and challenges to the profession are many and varied.
Other insights included:
- In order to keep providing a value added function to society, the accounting profession must stay relevant to the needs and demands of its stakeholders.
- Learning does not end with the award of a university degree but is the start of an ongoing journey.
- Professional development in one’s job is critical to maintaining relevance.
Professor Garry Carnegie, Head, School of Accounting, spoke about the important and longstanding relationships between RMIT and CAANZ.
“The accounting profession is more likely to be enhanced when based on a strong relationship between ‘town and gown’,” he said.
“This forum provides an opportunity to exchange new ideas with positive ramifications for strengthening and deepening this relationship”.
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Story: Ainslie Logsdon