“In the context of the current pandemic, there is enormous potential for accountants to make a difference.” That was among the key messages from the September 2020 virtual gathering of the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Advisory Group of the International Federal of Accountants (IFAC). The group’s insights are summarized in a 13-page report, Accountants Supporting Sustainable Recovery, which examines how professional accountants are leading their organizations in a period of deep uncertainty. Many professional accountants in business are working to create better, more innovative practices to improve their organization’s performance in relation to people, planet, and profit.

The report explores topics such as:

  • Value creation and integrated reporting
  • Building trust in business through effective corporate governance
  • Future CFO and finance function: Navigating the COVID-19 era
  • Revenue management

Among those who contributed to the report was PAIB Advisory Group member Larry White, CMA, CFM, former IMA Global Board Chair and current Global Board member. White is the executive director of the Resource Consumption Accounting (RCA) Institute. In their presentation, White and colleagues from the University of Auckland Business School—Dr. Paul Rouse, Dr. Julia Harrison, and Dr. Fred Ng—highlighted how PAIBs can play a more active role in revenue management. They went on to describe the four levers of revenue management: pricing basis, capacity/inventory allocation, product/service configuration, and duration control. They also discussed the key findings of IMA’s recent Statement on Management Accounting, Revenue Management Fundamentals (see related story in this issue). 

White emphasized, “Revenue management is often overlooked by management accountants, but it is a top priority for entrepreneurs and CEOs. It is an area where management accounting skills are highly applicable and provides a logical path to partnering in all critical areas of the business.”

In his opening remarks in the report, PAIB Advisory Group Chair Sanjay Rughani noted, “While much has changed in the last six months, what has not is the opportunity and imperative for CFOs and their finance teams to enhance their contribution to the organizations in which they operate. I believe the topics discussed at our meeting, and summarized in this report, will remain highly relevant as IFAC and its members continue to rethink priorities in the aftermath of COVID-19.”

He continued, “A crisis offers us a unique chance for transformative change. As we hit refresh, the accountancy profession must be responsive to opportunities emerging from this current crisis to create positive impact and help support stronger organizations and a stronger profession.”

As a member of IFAC, IMA contributes to the organization’s mission of strengthening the accounting profession through global initiatives, including the PAIB Advisory Group. IFAC is composed of over 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost three million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce. The PAIB Advisory Group provides leadership and guidance on relevant issues pertaining to professional accountants in business and the business environments in which they work.