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Two thirds of businesses need to look beyond the financial imperative in post Covid-19 world

Research from ACCA and PwC shows two thirds of organisations need to embed finance
business partnering further into strategy and decision making
Companies are being urged to look beyond the financial imperative as economies around the
world look to kickstart as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Finance Insights – Reimagined, a new report from the Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants (ACCA) and PwC, surveyed more than 3,400 firms on the changing role of the
finance professional and how they can influence companies’ future direction.
The report highlights the greater focus on the finance business partner (FBP): individuals, or a
group of individuals, who are the conduit between finance and its stakeholders. It outlines how
they can help companies navigate turbulent economic times.
Results show finance business partnering was a proactive role in organisations, a fundamental
part of decision-making and strategy. However, only 37% reported that it was truly embedded
and that the remaining 63% are compromising their agility to support and influence business
decision-making at this critical time.
The report outlines the FBP will be more commonplace than other finance roles as a result of
automation and process efficiency. It also envisages the role of the partner will become more
strategic and collaborative to support operational decision-making across the organisation.
Clive Webb, senior insights manager at ACCA, says finance business partnering is a key
consideration for firms seeking survival and a more sustainable future ahead of an impending
He said: ‘There is a temptation in responding to the COVID-19 events, as organisations and
economies seek to recover, that the sole focus is on the financial imperative.
‘This approach could ignore the dangers society will continue to face and may lead to narrow
responses to broader issues that are connected to the financial performance. To respond to
this, accountancy and finance professionals need to have a robust skill set and must show they
can play an ever-important role in driving business performance.’
Mr Webb concluded: ‘The two most valued aspects in the role were the support of business
strategy and the analysis of current performance; this suggests that finance professionals might
not yet be achieving the forward-looking view on which the future of the finance function

‘The six hypotheses generated in this report allow businesses, both large and small, to explore
the opportunity for finance insights and the role of business partners in generating sustainable
value creation.’
Brian Furness, Partner at PwC, underlined the importance of the six capitals identified in the
report in future planning.
He said: ‘The six capitals – financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and responsible,
and natural – which are outlined in the report, provide a unique framework to evaluate how any
finance function is performing.
‘In response to COVID-19, and by using this framework, CFO’s will be able to make sense out
of the current situation, and plan successfully for the future.’

  • ends –

For media enquiries, contact:
Rashid Khan
E: rashid.khan@accaglobal.com
Twitter: @ACCANews @ACCA_PK

About Finance Insights Reimagined:
The insights in this report are based upon several interviews and roundtables conducted with
ACCA members and other interested parties and the results of a survey of 3,502 accountancy
and finance professionals, including ACCA members and future members, contacts and clients
of PwC and members of the Shared Service Forum based in India, which was conducted in
February 2020.
Six hypotheses about the future development of finance insights are as follows:

Principle survey respondents were based in: United Kingdom, Malaysia, mainland China,
Pakistan, Nigeria, Mauritius, Republic of Ireland, Zimbabwe and Ghana.

About ACCA: ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving
global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 and future members based in 176
countries that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.
We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public
and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global
accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.
Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because
we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our
surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.
Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to
experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our
respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us
for tomorrow.
Find out more about us at www.accaglobal.com

About Interview Scripted by Rohail Amjad

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