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Study Zone

Think ahead with ACCA

Maggie McGhee outlines what the Professional Insights are and explains why ACCA students would be wise to maximise the resources available to them

June 2017

When it comes to the big questions about being an accountant, ACCA’s Professional Insights team is there to find out all the answers. Capturing views from all around the globe, we share our findings with you, in research reports, at events, in videos and at presentations.
Our aim is to create a full picture of what is happening and the impact this will have on the future of the profession. The intelligence gathered from ACCA’s extensive network of offices and centres enables us to ‘Think Ahead’.
Our research has played an important role in moulding global ACCA thought leadership, which in turn has helped shape and lead the profession. Our findings are shared with standard setters, policy makers and regulators, and also politicians, influencing discussions that impact on all our futures.
We ask the big questions to ensure our profession remains at the forefront of innovation and continues to be trusted to deliver what businesses, markets and governments have come to expect of accountants.

Critical questions:
It’s by asking critical questions and digesting the answers that we can really understand where our profession is today – and where it is going. The accountancy profession has always helped to shape and support business, other organisations, and economies of all types and sizes.
As future professional accountants, you will need to embrace leadership and become trusted expert counsels as well as key strategic advisers to growing organisations across the public and private sectors.
ACCA is well aware that in order to add value to employers and clients, professional accountants of the future will need an optimal and changing combination of professional competencies: a collection of technical knowledge, skills and abilities, combined with interpersonal behaviour and qualities.
We know we are working in a fast-changing world – the evidence is all around us. The evolving business landscape is constantly bringing new challenges and opportunities to the finance profession.
Innovations in technology, increasing globalisation and evolving governance models are moulding the expectations that employers, clients, regulators and other stakeholders have of professional accountants.
As the global business landscape evolves, so will the practice of accounting and what will be expected and required of you as professional accountants.

Sharpen your professional skills:
We’ve revealed previously in PQ magazine that intellect, creativity, emotional intelligence, vision, experience, mastery of the digital world and technical skills make up the ‘magnificent seven’ sought after skills and qualities.
So how do you measure up? ACCA’s interactive online test allows you to see how you perform against the seven qualities, identifies areas where you can sharpen your skills and directs you to a range of resources that can help you.
To find out about your professional quotient visit thefuture.accaglobal.com

Maximising the resources available:
We take our responsibility of supporting our students and members very seriously. Our comprehensive learning support offering includes exam-specific resources available to you through the Exam Resource Finder on ACCA’s website. And our research also helps you to understand in more detail the issues that matter.
We’re continuing to publish sample exams twice a year after the December and June sessions. These exams are compiled from questions that have appeared in the last two sessions. For example, after the June session, we will publish a sample exam containing questions from the March and June sessions.
The content of the sample exams are selected carefully by the examining team so that they contain the questions that will be most helpful to students, including subject areas new to the syllabus, new styles of requirements and topics students tend to struggle with.
ACCA’s Professional Insights, another resource in our rich suite of content, provides knowledge on the topics and subjects impacting our profession. It could be an in-depth report that reveals something new, a fact or a quote that inspires you.
It will help you think ahead, armed with knowledge that helps strengthen our profession today, and forms the foundations of tomorrow.
We will reveal our future findings here in PQ magazine but for those who enjoy receiving live updates, I would recommend you download our app.
Our Professional Insights app gives you access to research, reports and our latest thinking on issues crucial for business, economies, society and the accountancy profession – now and in the future. It is available for iOS, Android and Kindle as well as a web version.
• Maggie McGhee, Director of Professional Insights, ACCA

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