ICAEW and OCAM join forces to help African accountants embrace digital transformation

ATRDec1421The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Order of Accountants and Auditors of Mozambique (OCAM), under the auspices of PAFA (Pan African Federation of Accountants), together have shed light on how accountancy and finance professionals in Africa can harness the fourth Industrial Revolution

As a part of the two entities’ ongoing efforts to accelerate the development of Africa’s financial sector, the 6th Africa Congress of Accountants event (ACOA2021), held from 24-26 November 2021, brought together international experts who shared their knowledge and experience on how accountants can provide more insight and stay competitive in the digital era.

Lately, the adoption of cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain has gained momentum globally. According to PwC, by 2030, AI is expected to add US$15.7tn to global GDP, with US$6.6tn projected to be from increased productivity and US$9.1tn from consumers.

Businesses are set to accelerate the digitalisation of work processes, learning, and the automation of tasks within organisations. According to the World Economic Forum's ‘The Future of Jobs report 2020’, workers will face two considerable disruptions by 2025: job losses due to increased automation and the economic impact of COVID-19 we are still experiencing. The report also states that humans' and machines' time spent on current tasks at work will be equal by 2025.

Michael Armstrong, ICAEW regional director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said: “The explosion in the accessibility of data has led to rapid advances in digital technologies that are transforming businesses, economies, and societies – and Africa has a great opportunity to leverage these to drive large-scale transformation across industries.”

The speakers acknowledged that the 4th Industrial Revolution is transforming working methods and business models, and with this will come a change in the traditional accountancy skills needed in the future.

The congress was held virtually and physically, at Joaquim Chissano International Convention Centre, Maputo, Mozambique, and attended by more than 1,000 accounting professionals from across the continent.

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