IMA’s director of technical accounting activities, Linda Devonish-Mills, CMA, CPA, CAE, recently participated in a virtual panel about the future of accounting. The panel was part of the “Reporting 3.0: Context for ThriveAble Transformation” initiative, more information about which can be found at

Over five days, February 19-23, 2018, 36 panelists including Mills exchanged insights and offered guidance on issues that will shape the accounting profession during the next 20 years, as well as the implication for education, organizations, and governance. Mills provided comments on a session focused on new accounting principles, business model dynamics, and user needs.

In her remarks, Mills reminded participants that management accounting is about the decision support, planning, and control functions pertaining to an organization’s finances, complementary to the work of financial accounting. Mills also noted that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are making more data available and raising the bar when it comes to strategy in management accounting.

She explained, “Increasingly, CFOs are asked to perform in more strategic roles to make best use of data for organizational decisions, which requires an advanced skillset for management accountants at all levels.”

Mills also emphasized the value of the balanced scorecard, saying, “Companies that adopt the balance scorecard approach successfully are clear about their goals at a global, organization level before they address goals at a departmental, project level.”

Additionally, Mills shared comments about how the 2013 COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission) Internal Controls Integrated Framework can be used to provide greater confidence in the use of sustainability performance data.

Other panelists offering insights for the Reporting 3.0 initiative included:

  • Paul Druckman, Former CEO, International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC);
  • Sonai Dalal, Technical Director, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB); and
  • Zimkita Mabindia, Senior Executive, Corporate Reporting, South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

A full report of all panelist comments is available at

The content generated by the online discussion will be used to draft an Accounting Blueprint of Reporting 3.0, the final version of which will be released at the Reporting 3.0 Conference in Amsterdam on June 12-13, 2018.