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ACCA’s latest report: golden opportunities ahead in accountancy profession

In recent years the accountancy profession has suffered some reputational damage, however, ACCA’s latest report, Future ready: accountancy careers in the 2020s indicates golden opportunities ahead.

The report by Jamie Lyon, Head of Business Management, ACCA, Professional Insights, reveals a significant number of trends signalling that the future can and should be bright for those whose careers are already in progress and for aspiring young professionals.

These trends range from the rise of data possibilities which will be become central to their role and linked to the adoption of automation technologies, and will free up professional accountants to add more value, provide greater connectivity, highlighting the rising importance of inclusivity in the workplace, the changing nature of work, and evolving business models.

“Now is the opportunity of a lifetime for the accountancy profession to build on its strong foundations and evolve: an opportunity to adapt and play its future part in building sustainable organisations for the long run. It’s a great opportunity for countries like Pakistan to develop globally in-demand, future-ready accountancy talent to capitalise on our youth bulge. Timing is everything,” said Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan.

The report brings together ACCA’s global research over the last three years, additional desktop research, including a member survey and interviews conducted with finance leaders, HR professionals and recruitment specialists in key markets to understand how careers may transform.

The report suggests there is a growing opportunity for the profession to contribute to building sustainable and purposeful organisations. “This imperative is at the heart of the future profession,” says Lyon. The report identifies a number of ‘career zones’ of opportunity where accountants can play a key role in supporting these ambitions. These include:-

Assurance advocates: In fast-changing, digitally disrupted markets, organisations need to manage risk appropriately and ethically. Professional accountants can use digital tools and technologies to transform the risk, audit, compliance and internal control landscape to ensure effective stewardship of organisations and protect value. They can also support responsible business practice, and drive transparency and trust in the organisation.

Business transformers: Business models will keep evolving in response to new technologies and changing market opportunities. Accountants can support businesses of all sizes in these efforts, as entrepreneurs or business advisers, or by taking a leading role in transforming smaller accountancy practices to bring new value to clients. Instead they may be leading finance operational change programmes or wider business transformation initiatives that are all designed to innovate and grow organisations.

Data navigators: Data is an enterprise asset that can be used in everything from building the business case for new investments to profiling competitive threats. Accountants can act as strategic advisers and business partners, helping to develop and apply rich data sets and use emerging analytical tools to provide real-time insights into how to create and sustain long-term value through better decision making.

Digital playmakers: Digital adoption is key to creating competitive advantage through innovation. Accountants can act as technology evangelists, identifying the potential of robotics, machine learning and other emerging cognitive technologies to transform finance and business operations, or they may be working with technology teams to drive productivity and digital transformation initiatives.

Sustainability trailblazers: In today’s world, value is created by more than just financial capital, and intangible assets are a growing proportion of enterprise value. Accountants can help evolve frameworks that capture, measure and report on activities that truly drive value, providing more meaningful and transparent information about the organisation’s performance.

Professional accountants could make an impact in more than one of these ‘zones of opportunity’ during their careers.

Lyon envisages a future world of career transformation, where many individuals will have different types of roles during their working life, building more variable career paths rather than necessarily climbing the traditional vertical career ladder. “We will see more fluidity in terms of how people navigate across different types of activity,” he says. “Roles are changing more quickly, and that is driving the need to develop new skills. That in turn is transforming the learning opportunities that are needed in the workplace.”

In playing their part in building sustainable businesses, accountants will still need to apply the seven professional competencies – or quotients. These quotients include more typical competencies (technical and ethical, intelligence, digital, and experience) and the softer skills (creative, digital and emotional intelligence). For example, the emotional intelligence quotient could become particularly important in the future, through assisting in understanding the viewpoints of wider stakeholders or advocating ethical approaches to the adoption of new technologies. “These professional quotients are so very relevant in this emerging world,” says Lyon says. “Accountants will need to apply a range of broad skills to have maximum impact in organisations. Those who succeed can look forward to a new world of opportunity and the chance to build brilliant careers.”

NBP agrees to provide 11000 olive plants to NHA

– Murad Saeed highlights govt steps to bring success and prosperity this year

Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services Mr. Murad Saeed has said that steps taken during previous year will bring about success and prosperity in the running year. As per vision of Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan, ground is being prepared for making Pakistan an Islamic Welfare State by adopting welfare schemes like Ehsas Programme, Kamyab Jawan Programme, Sehat Insaf Card and Shelter Homes etc. Extremely changing climate is demanding more and more plantation in the country so that a safe future could be given to the coming generation. Through reforms National Highway Authority and Postal Services have been put on the track of development in terms of increasing revenue and savings.

He was addressing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between National Highway Authority (NHA) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) held at NHA Headquarters, last week. Under the MoU, NBP will provide 11000 Olive Plants to NHA free of cost those will be planted along with Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M-1) and other roads. Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, State Minister for Climate Change Ms. Zartaj Gul, Secretary Communications Mr. Jawwad Rafique Malik, Chairman NHA Capt Sikandar Qayyum (retired) and Senior Officers of Ministry of Communications, National Highway Authority and National Bank of Pakistan were also present.

NHA’s General Manager (M-1) Mr. Amjad Ali Khan and Vice President & Regional Head of Islamic National Bank of Pakistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ms. Saima Rahim signed the MoU.

Mr. Murad Saeed said, during the last 16x months, revenue of National Highway Authority has been increased and savings are recorded considerably. Our endeavour is to make NHA self reliant in completing its projects through its own resources. He said, Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway will be undertaken by two months on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

Malik Amin Aslam said, Prime Minister has given a clear vision for making Pakistan a welfare state. The present government is endeavouring to bring about a positive change in all spheres of life so that a bright future could be given to the youth. He said Ministry of Climate Change is fully aware of Climatic Changes and utilizing all available resources for ensuring plantation in the country. Wide ranging plantation is the dire need of the present time, he added.

State Minister for Climate Change Ms. Zartaj Gul said, presently changing weather conditions have posed threat to the nation and we are to face it through collective efforts. Plantation along road network is an expensive job. He expressed gratitude to Ministry of Communications, Media and Civil Society in achieving the plantation targets in the country.

Vice President & Regional Head of Islamic National Bank of Pakistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ms. Saima Rahim also expressed her views.

NBP teams up with Huawei, Unionpay International and Paysys to launch Huawei pay in Pakistan

Digital transformation is a continuous journey at National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to stay relevant in today’s constantly changing financial services landscape. In order to meet consumer demands and to match up with today’s pace of innovation, National Bank of Pakistan held a formal launch ceremony of NBP ‘Huawei Pay’ powered by UnionPay International. Huawei Pay is an easy and secure way to make payments with your Huawei & Honor Smart Phones by just adding UPI Virtual card to Huawei Pay to pay in stores with just a tap.

The ceremony was attended by Mr. Tariq Jamali, SEVP/Group Chief, COAG, Mr. Jamal Baquar, SEVP/Group Chief, Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr. Amin Manji, SEVP, Group Chief/CTO, Mr. Imran Zafar Malik, Division Head Digital Banking & Product Development along with Mr. Adam Xiao, Managing Director of Huawei Mobile Services MEA, Mr. Nadeem Haroon Country Head, UnionPay International and Mr. Ali Abbas Sikandar Chairman, PaysysLabs.

Digital transformation is shaping the future of banking industry and NBP is cognizant of the future banking needs. NBP has embarked upon various technology initiatives which aims towards provision of multiple digital channels and this launch is part of the same journey of providing best products to NBP customers.

 

Also speaking at the occasion, Mr. Amin Manji, SEVP, Group Chief/CTO, Technology & Digitalization Group, informed that NBP has launched a string of digital products including UPI EMV/Contactless Debit Cards, Virtual Cards and by bringing Huawei Pay to Pakistan this is an important achievement for NBP as it would further provide customers the choice of unique transaction set coupled with NBPs branch and ATM footprint across the length and breadth of Pakistan.

Representing Huawei Mr. Adam, Managing Director of Huawei Mobile Services MEA stated that we are excited to launch this extraordinary technology product Huawei Pay for our consumers in Pakistan. Huawei Mobile Services aims to bring the latest technologies and services to global consumers, which will allow more and more people to experience the convenience of the intelligent era and enjoy the joy of technology advancement, by virtue of Huawei Pay customers can make instant QR and NFC payments in Pakistan through a highly secure platform.

Today, more and more people are using mobile payment services such as Huawei Pay in their daily life in China & Russia. Enablement of NBP Customers to use Huawei Pay is a strategic milestone to expand internationally.

Dr Akbar Zaidi appointed executive director IBA Karachi

The Honorable Chief Minister Sindh and Patron of IBA, Syed Murad Ali Shah has appointed Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi as the Executive Director, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi for four years as per a notification issued by the Universities and Boards Department, Government of Sindh.

Dr. Zaidi is a renowned academic and political economist with over 35 years of teaching and research experience in Pakistan and abroad. He has served as a faculty member in renowned institutions across the globe, including Columbia University, Johns Hopkins, IBA, Karachi and the University of Karachi. He is a political economist with interests in political economy, development, the social sciences more generally, and increasingly, history.

He has written over 75 academic articles in international journals and as chapters in books. Amongst his books, are: Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan (2011), The New Development Paradigm: Papers on Institutions, NGOs, Gender and Local Government (1999), and Pakistan’s Economic and Social Development: The Domestic, Regional and Global Context (2004). His recent books include Issues in Pakistan’s Economy: A Political Economy Perspective published by Oxford University Press in 2015, and a co-edited volume entitled New Perspectives on Pakistan’s Political Economy: State, Class and Social Change, published by Cambridge University Press in April 2019.

Dr. Zaidi holds PhD and MPhil degrees in History and Economics from University of Cambridge, an MSc in Social Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BSc in Economics from University College London.

Dr. Zaidi is the 10th head of the Institution replacing Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, who served the Institute for more than 3 years.

Finca Microfinance Bank Pakistan secures Rs800m tier-2 facility from PMIC!

FINCA Microfinance Bank Pakistan announced that it has secured an 8-year, PKR 800 million Tier II/subordinated bilateral loan facility from Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC). The facility marks an inaugural Tier-2 transaction by PMIC and will be used by FINCA Pakistan to support its balance sheet expansion.

The facility will contribute towards FINCA’S Tier II Capital for complying with the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) requirement prescribed by the State Bank of Pakistan for Microfinance Banks. The funds raised will be utilized in FINCA Pakistan’s business operations and will enable the bank to meet financing requirements of over 240,000 borrowers across Pakistan. Most of these loans will be targeted towards individuals running micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ms. Zarlasht Wardak, Chair of FINCA Pakistan board, congratulated both institutions on this landmark transaction. “Pakistan is full of opportunities for microfinance sector and we are very happy that this facility will allow us to farther our mission of financial inclusion and improving access to finance for disadvantaged sections of the economy”, she said.

Speaking on the occasion, PMIC CEO Mr. Yasir Ashfaq said, “PMIC is dedicated to promoting financial inclusion across Pakistan. In this regard PMIC has developed and offers a range of financing services to Microfinance Banks and Non-Banking Microfinance Institutions (NBMFIs). With this partnership, PMIC and FINCA Pakistan are aiming to improve the financial inclusion indicators of the country and contribute towards the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.”

Farid Ahmed Khan, Acting CEO FINCA Microfinance Bank said “We are excited to enter this new partnership with PMIC. This loan facility will enable us to expand our product offering across the country while continuing to help the people of Pakistan build assets, create jobs and improve their standard of living.

FINCA Pakistan has over half a million clients which are serviced by its branchless banking platform and 132 branches all over the country. The bank has been one of the fastest growing microfinance institutions in Pakistan and its balance sheet has grown 134% in the last three years.

Easypaisa collaborates with airlift technologies for digital payments

Easypaisa, the country’s leading digital payments platform has partnered with Airlift Technologies, the first decentralized mass transit service in Pakistan, to allow quick, easy and cashless payments for passengers around various routes available across Karachi and Lahore.

This agreement will allow Airlift users to conveniently make payments through the Easypaisa payment platform integrated within the Airlift application. Additionally, this partnership also necessitates disbursement of incentives digitally to all Airlift pilots across Pakistan allowing them to have easy access to mobile financial services through Easypaisa.

This strategic partnership is another step towards Easypaisa’s efforts of making digital payments accessible to everyone and continues to pave the way for a financially inclusive and digitally enabled economy.

Commenting on the development Mohammad Mudassar Aqil, President & CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank, said; “Easypaisa is constantly tapping into the true potential of mobile financial services in Pakistan by providing innovative and best-in-class products & services to our customers. Through this partnership with Airlift, Pakistan’s trusted mass transit service, not only do we aim to deliver a convenient and hassle-free digital payments experience to our customers but also develop a digital ecosystem in Pakistan that benefits the common man”.

Usman Gul, CEO Airlift Technologies had his say on partnering with Easypaisa; “We’re excited to take the first step toward enabling additional payment options for customers on the Airlift platform. Our team views this as part of a broader partnership with Easypaisa.”

Pakistan is a country with low financial inclusion ratios. Introducing digital payment solutions is key to transforming the economy while providing convenience to consumers at the same time. Easypaisa as a platform has always been at the forefront of innovation in this space and the collaboration with Airlift is another milestone in reducing the heavy dependence on cash in the country.

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