New ACCA global survey finds accounting and finance profession viewed as broadly inclusive, but with more progress needed

NEW YORK and LONDON, Jan. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) released a new report examining the state of diversity and inclusion in the global accounting and finance profession. Through research questions and roundtable discussions, ACCA has gauged opinions from 10,000 ACCA members, affiliates and future members on a wide range of issues relating to diversity and inclusion, starting with the question ‘Are we truly a profession that is open to all?’

You can read ACCA’s latest report, Leading Inclusion here: https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/professional-insights/global-profession/diversity_inclusion.html

The report offers recommended actions to promote diversity and inclusion in organizations, from establishing a diversity and inclusion policy which sets out organizational principles to leadership principles that sets the tone from the top and holding leaders accountable. ACCA also suggests actions that accountants can take to develop this agenda.

“The foundation of ACCA in 1904 was to create a professional body for accountancy professionals that was open to all,” said Warner Johnston, head of ACCA USA. “As an organization we recognize the work that still needs to be done in order for the accounting and finance profession to truly embody the values of diversity and inclusion, and we will continue to push for change in these areas in order to build a better and more equitable profession.”

According to the Leading Inclusion report, the majority of the global roundtable participants and 78 percent of survey respondents felt that the profession was open to all, and nearly two-thirds saw a link between diversity and inclusion policies to organizational success.

However, nearly two-thirds still thought that the profession has or might have an issue to deal with when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Globally, 41 percent of respondents said the organization that they work for makes it easy for people from diverse backgrounds to be accepted. Just over half – 52 percent – said everyone in their organization has an equal opportunity to succeed.

The report concludes that there is no basis for complacency, with 68 percent saying the profession should do more to promote diversity and inclusion amongst its membership.

This new report places these important issues of diversity and inclusion center stage so that the profession can take the dialogue and engagement further.

“As accountancy and finance professionals, it’s important that we apply our robust and ethical lens to the challenges of the diversity agenda. By focusing on the symptoms of the issues rather than the causes we run the risk of not making substantive and lasting change when it is very necessary,” said Clive Webb, author of the report and senior insights manager at ACCA. “Accountancy and finance professionals must be a force for good in the organizations that we work in and for.”

The research for the report took place in October 2020, including 20 virtual roundtables across 11 regions, with the majority of survey respondents located across Western Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and South Asia.

About ACCA
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 527,000 students (including affiliates) in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 110 offices and centres and 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide, and 328 approved learning providers who provide high standards of learning and development.

Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com.

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SOURCE ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)

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