Finance teams urged to embrace change and be the leaders of transformation


Organizations continue to face rapid change in the face of Covid-19, climate change, and technological innovations – and a new report urges the finance functions who work in these places to lead and embrace this change, or risk being left behind. In Transformational journeys: finance and the agile organization ACCA, CA ANZ, and Generation CFO assert that the role of the finance function and its skill sets are intricately linked to organizational transformation.
But they also warn that certainty about the purpose of finance and accountancy professionals in organizations is needed to ensure their future relevance. How the finance team aligns to organisational goals is vital to ensure they continue to contribute effectively to the transformation of where they work – whether large or small.
Finance teams’ roles are becoming wider in scope, managing operational, climate, and non-financial data, and delivering insights based on robust data analytics collected by efficient and effective processes. As such, they need to be at the heart of transformation as key players in an organization’s performance and control agendas.

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Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA explains: ‘Finance professionals have a clear role to play in transformation. The nature of that role is dependent on the extent to which they have a vision of how finance itself can contribute to the organization of the future. Finance teams need to be forward-thinking and agile in the face of relentless change.’
Ainslie van Onselen, chief executive, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand adds: ‘There’s no doubt that the speed of change will continue to accelerate. Being prepared for that acceleration will enable finance and accountancy professionals to play their full role in the transformation process and help secure long-term organizational success.’ Chris Argent, Founder and CEO, Generation CFO comments: ‘The advice I’d give as a one-time FD myself, is for accountants to explore how they can play a major role in the future direction and development of their organizations. This is not just about appreciating the technology enhancements that are ongoing, but also understanding the cultural shifts in the ways of working that the pandemic has brought into focus.’ The report includes insights from Jason Ford, Vice President at NTT DATA UK regarding what transformation actually is – strategic, incremental, changes that improve the business model –and key trends in transformation, from understanding the risks to the rise of the ‘Cloud Native’.

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Ford explains: ‘Transformation is a very broad topic. As organizations evolve to respond to the needs of their customers, we must reappraise how we assess the effectiveness of transformation. This requires collaboration between those charged with the development and delivery of services and the finance function, in order to understand the realities of the investment case and effective performance measurement. It is for this reason that organizations
need to ensure agility is at the heart of their business strategy, so they can not only respond quickly and adapt to shifting customer expectations, but they do so in the most effective and efficient manner possible.’ Advice and ways to make transformation happen to conclude the report, with tangible ways accountants can lead the way from engaging with the environment as a matter of urgency to looking to the purpose of businesses and the profession’s moral responsibility.

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About ACCA: We’re a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future
members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and
industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.
We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in
accountancy, finance and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop
strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business and digital
expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organisations and flourishing societies.
Since 1904, being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. We believe that
accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital in helping economies,
organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted
financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organisations are
managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities.
And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions
and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organisation.
Find out more at:
About CA ANZ: Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) represents more
than 128,000 financial professionals, supporting them to build value and make a difference to
the businesses, organisations and communities in which they work and live. Around the world,
Chartered Accountants are known for their integrity, financial skills, adaptability and the rigour of
their professional education and training.
CA ANZ promotes the Chartered Accountant (CA) designation and high ethical standards,
delivers world-class services and life-long education to members and advocates for the public
good. We protect the reputation of the designation by ensuring members continue to comply

with a code of ethics, backed by a robust discipline process. We also monitor Chartered
Accountants who offer services directly to the public.
Our flagship CA Program, the pathway to becoming a Chartered Accountant, combines rigorous
education with practical experience. Ongoing professional development helps members shape
business decisions and remain relevant in a changing world.
We actively engage with governments, regulators and standard-setters on behalf of members
and the profession to advocate in the public interest. Our thought leadership promotes
prosperity in Australia and New Zealand.
Our support of the profession extends to affiliations with international accounting organisations.
We are a member of the International Federation of Accountants and are connected globally
through Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance. Chartered
Accountants Worldwide brings together members of 13 chartered accounting institutes to create
a community of more than 1.8 million Chartered Accountants and students in more than 190
countries. CA ANZ is a founding member of the Global Accounting Alliance which is made up of
10 leading accounting bodies that together promote quality services, share information and
collaborate on important international issues. More information is here:
ACCA and CA ANZ created a strategic alliance in June 2016, forming one of the largest
accounting alliances in the world. It represents 870,000 current and next generation accounting
professionals across 179 countries and provides a full range of accounting qualifications to
students and business. Together, ACCA and CA ANZ represent the voice of members and
students, sharing a commitment to uphold the highest ethical, professional and technical
About Generation CFO: Generation CFO is the leading and largest community within the
accounting and finance industry worldwide.
Chris Argent, MD and Head of Community has worked for some of the world’s leading
accounting and finance organisations and digital finance functions. Through insight and
partnership from leading industry voices, our website and events provide insight and practical
guidance to be the leading destination for industry finance professionals, including CFO’s,
Financial Controllers, Senior Finance Managers, FP&A, Commercial Finance and financial
We’ve been around since 2009 as a digital community for finance leaders (yep, that’s five years
before Power BI went live and two years before Zoom went zoom). Over this time, we have built
a professional community c. 100,000 members.
We’re a digital community and here for you to learn and discover everything you need to begin
your digital transformation journey. Whatever your learning style, we have something for
everyone… whether that be through ‘The Shift’ our thought leadership content on the website,
networking with your peers through our FiMind community or attending our annual summit or
monthly educational events to learn from experts in the industry, the options are endless. Find
out more, here:

About NTT DATA: NTT DATA is a leading IT services provider and global innovation partner
headquartered in Tokyo, with business operations in over 50 countries. Our emphasis is on
long-term commitment combining global reach with local intimacy to provide premier
professional services varying from consulting and systems development to outsourcing. For
more information, visit

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