New Report Finds Data Revolution Shifting Business Landscape

Anjelica Sena
Stern Strategy Group 
(on behalf of IMA)
(908) 325-3873

Jeff Simmons
Anat Gerstein, Inc.
(on behalf of ACCA)
(917) 673-0024

IMA and ACCA Joint Report Examines Data Trends and Impact on Accounting

New York and Montvale, N.J. – The role of data is radically changing in the day-to-day practices of accountants. According to a new report released today by ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), a data revolution is underway, causing significant shifts in the business landscape and challenging accountants to integrate data-related practices. For more information on The Data Revolution report, see here:

The report addresses three roles of data that present new opportunities for finance and accounting professionals: 

•    Data management, which when done correctly can increase productivity and reduce operational costs, whereas poor management can result in lost opportunities, strategic mistakes and financial losses. 
•    Data governance, which safeguards and facilitates key areas of data management, and is still an area of struggle for both small and large companies.
•    Data lifecycle, which traditionally fell into the realm of IT and operations departments, will only become more complex and demand increased involvement from users across the business.

As new data-oriented business functions become more intricate and corresponding roles come into demand, these areas create unique opportunities for finance and accounting professionals to showcase their strategic value across business functions beyond their traditional roles. 

“Data management and data governance – often seen as unpopular concepts within businesses – are among key issues being pushed to the fore by the data revolution,” said Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, vice president of Research and Policy at IMA. “For data governance, finance professionals will play a part in helping to support projects that lead businesses towards maturity in their use of data.”

In order to fully anticipate the future impact of data, the profession must see it as a useful commodity and as a critical tool for business strategy, as data directly affects costs, efficiency and quality of service. The profession must also recognize data revolution trends and their impact on business strategy, taking into consideration the increasing complexity of data and its mobility and agility, as well as cloud computing, its storage concerns and enforcement risks.

According to Faye Chua, head of Business Insights at ACCA, “Both as professionals and as individuals, finance and accounting professionals have no choice but to embrace new realities, master new terminology and skills and understand trends related to the modern data landscape.” 

ACCA and IMA share a strategic partnership, focusing on research studying the future of the global accounting profession. For more research and insights, visit The Future Today website at

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 178,000 members and 455,000 students in 181 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of 92 offices and centres and more than 7,110 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.

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 75,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/Africa. For more information about IMA, please visit

› Download PDF