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Cyber-terror fears and fuel increases are top concerns for US companies, says new report from ACCA/IMA

March 05, 2013

Marc Gerrone
IMA
(201) 474-1502
mgerrone@imanet.org

Andrew Healy
Water & Wall Group
(212) 699-3671
ahealy@waterandwallgroup.com

New York and Montvale, N.J., March 4, 2013 – The world’s business and finance leaders have identified rising fuel costs, cyber-security and the emergence of digital currency as key factors driving change across the globe, according to a new survey conducted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants).

The survey, Drivers of Change in the US, shows that an increased reliance on the internet for business and finance activity is fuelling fears of exposure to cyber-attacks on US companies, with 75% of senior executives and finance professionals identifying cyber security as a driver for change in the future. ACCA recently held a symposium in New York City devoted solely towards this threat.

Rising fuel and energy costs were also a concern for US businesses in the short term, with 78% of senior executives and 80% of accountants identifying it as the most important factor for their future plans in the report.

Senior business executives saw the need for a wider role for accountants in their businesses as a vital development over the medium term from 2016-2022, with 74% citing this as a major factor for change in their businesses.

Faye Chua, ACCA head of future research, said, “Owing to the sheer breadth of economic, commercial and regulatory challenges and changes on the horizon, the CFO and the accountancy function will play an increasingly central role in business. This is a necessary development identified by both senior executives and the finance profession, which shows the two roles share the same sentiment when it comes to developing the business in future. This survey provides a useful glimpse of how future US businesses will operate on what their priorities are.”

Raef Lawson, Ph.D, CMA®, CPA, IMA vice president of research said, “Like businesses the world over, US companies and accountants are identifying similar challenges and opportunities that they expect to emerge in the future. While it might be predictable for finance and senior executives to both identify cyber security as an issue with ever more reliance on computer technology, longer term concerns and factors are shared by both accountants and the businesses they support in the US.”

The report also shows the growing prominence of non-financial information reporting and integrated reporting in businesses with 80% of senior executives who took part in the survey rating it as a major consideration for their future plans to 2022.

Other findings from the report include:

  • 72% of accountants identified potential changes in the global reserve currency, moving away from the US dollar to either the euro or yuan as the most important concern for business in the long term – post 2023.
  • 57% of senior executives and 55% of accounts said the potential move towards digital money as the basis of a currency exchange system was an important long-term development in their plans.

As part of a wider global report, more than 550 accountants and business leaders from different sectors of the US economy offered their insights into future drivers for change. The full report can be viewed at: http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-technical/futures/pol-af-docus.pdf.

About ACCA
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer 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. We support our 154,000 members and 432,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and 8,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. For more information about ACCA, please visit: http://www2.accaglobal.com/usa/

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 65,000 members in 120 countries and 200 local chapter communities. IMA provides localized services through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; and Beijing, China. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.


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