Driving change in the public sector: ACCA report

The level of economic growth is the number one driver of change in the public sector, according to the latest report in the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants’ (ACCA) Professional Accountants: The Future series.

To explore which emerging drivers of change could have the great impact and highlight the skills required over the next decade, ACCA surveyed over 1 000 senior executives, ACCA members and members of other professional accountancy bodies working in public sector organisations and carried out 12 in-depth roundtable discussions across 11 countries to inform the report.

The quality and availability of the global talent pool was listed as the second-most important driver of change, while business leaders' responsiveness to change and disruption, the use of public-private partnerships and the development and exploitation of big data were also prominent.

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In dealing with challenges in the financial division of the public sector finance function, the report suggests that accountants will require strong technical, communication and leadership skills, as well as professional judgement and vision.

Stephen Emasu, chair of ACCA's Global Forum for the Public Sector, said:

"The public sector finance function will need to adapt to these prevailing winds of change. Professional accountants will need to hone their technical and specialist skills, as well as developing new attributes, to be ready to embrace new challenges and make the most of new opportunities. It is an exciting time to be a professional accountant in the public sector. It is a huge opportunity to help shape the public services of the future, achieving value for money and long-term sustainability."