The PAIB (Professional Accountants in Business) Committee of IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) recently met to tackle some of the most pressing questions facing practitioners, including how to create new value in the face of automation and the digitalization of finance and accounting.

Former IMA Chair Larry White, CMA, CSCA, CPA, executive director of the Resource Consumption Accounting Institute and PAIB Committee member; and Ella Suponitskiy, CMA, CPA, CAE, IMA director of exam operations and grading, attended the recent PAIB meeting in Singapore. A detailed summary report is available at Perspectives on the Finance Function Journey - November 2018, which discusses the following topic areas from the meeting:
  • CFO perspectives on the finance function journey
  • The relationship between audit committees and the CFO/finance function
  • Data analytics applications in business
  • Data modeling beyond financial accounting and reporting
  • The importance of authentic communications and professional ethics to enhance trust in business and accountants
  • The latest thinking from the committee on a vision and roadmap for the future finance function
White said of the meeting, “Professional accountants working in business and the public sector constitute the overwhelming majority of the profession working within and beyond finance teams. The profession’s future attractiveness is very much dependent on the value these accountants create to secure interesting and expanding job opportunities and career pathways inside organizations. That’s why the issues addressed by the PAIB are so important and vital if accountancy is going to remain an exciting, value-added profession.”

He concluded, “We must be ready for a future focused on customers, performance models beyond financial reporting, closer ties to operations, an emphasis on nonfinancial business data, integrity as a function of creating value for business and society, storytelling as communication, and saying goodbye to being an officially designated ‘professional skeptic.’ These are the ‘signs in the road’ that will lead to the new image and skill set of a professional accountant in business.”

Formed in 1977, the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee is composed of volunteers with experience and expertise in the world of business and the public sector, nominated by the professional accountancy organizations that make up IFAC’s membership. As a strategic advisory body of professional accountants with extensive and diverse experiences, the PAIB Committee provides IFAC with: strategic input on the most relevant business and accountancy issues that need to be addressed, and how to best do so; direct input into IFAC initiatives, projects, and activities, thereby ensuring inclusion of perspectives and issues most relevant to professional accountants in business; and outreach and stakeholder engagement both within and beyond IFAC. For more information, visit the PAIB Committee.