Adding value with AI, digital tech

A SIGNIFICANT shift is underway in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, with a strong focus on integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in finance roles, highlighting the necessity for professionals to adapt and embrace new skills.

According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) latest annual Global Talent Trends Survey 2024, 78% of respondents believe AI will enable finance professionals to add more value to what they do, while 54% believe they are not developing the skills needed for the future workplace.

“Across APAC, we’re witnessing a transformative phase where AI and digital technologies are not just tools but essential elements that redefine the value finance professionals bring to the table.

“It’s a compelling and exciting call to action for organisations, individuals and future professional talent to leverage these technologies, enhancing analytical capabilities and strategic insights,” said ACCA (Asia Pacific) director Pulkit Abrol.

This wake-up call comes in the biggest global talent survey across the accountancy profession, providing a view of howpeople feel about their life at work.

Almost 10,000 professional accountants from 157 countries including Malaysia were asked about the concerns they held around future work and aspirations for their careers.

A spotlight was also cast on the in-demand soft skills that are pivotal in the current climate. Communication, problem-solving, adaptability, and initiative were identified as the core competencies employers in APAC eagerly seek. These skills complement the technical expertise in finance, enabling professionals to navigate the complexities of the modern business environment effectively.The annual survey of finance professionals also emphasised the importance of continuous learning and development, encouraging professionals in APAC to engage in lifelong education to remain competitive.

“The landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and staying ahead means being proactive about learning and personal development.

“ACCA is committed to supporting our community of members and future members through this journey, providing resources and platforms to enhance their skills and confidently embrace the future,” said Abrol.

The survey, which also assessed key workplace issues such as hybrid working, diversity, mobility and mental health and the cost-of-living crisis, revealed that 73% pointed to a strong diversity and inclusion culture as a key factor in deciding to work at an organisation, as the talent crunch continues with over half expecting to move on in their career.

While hybrid working, a mix of office- and home-based working, is slowly gaining traction, big mismatches remain between what employees want and what employers demand.

A whopping 76% of all employees surveyed said it’s their preferred arrangement but in Malaysia, only 43% are in hybrid working arrangements while 54% are in the office full time.

Within the APAC market, a staggering 58% of professionals are seeking a pay rise this year, reflecting the growing concern over compensation amid global economic strains. However, half of those surveyed believe that transitioning to a new organisation is necessary to achieve their financial goals.

“This underscores the urgent need for organisations in APAC to rethink their talent retention strategies, ensuring that career progression and financial recognition are aligned with the expectations of their workforce,” said Abrol.

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ACCA , accounting , jobs , education , lifelong learning


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