Leading the way in developing future Chartered Accountants
The accounting industry has been transformed by automation and digital change. The rise of emerging technologies is influencing the way accountants work, and the professional skills that are valued. Unpredictable business landscapes mean that professional capabilities are more important than ever. Graduating Chartered Accountants are increasingly expected to be job-ready and adequately equipped to handle our digital world. Today, our candidates are competing for roles as difference-makers, growth accelerators, critical thinkers, innovators and digitally savvy experts who can guide new initiatives to help businesses navigate disruption and unpredictable environments.
Building a sustainable future for our profession
In order to lead in this environment, the CA Program has been re-designed, through extensive consultation with members, candidates in the current program and industry. The CA Program is actively developing graduates who can apply professional scepticism and become trusted partners in business. The new program integrates the development of deep technical expertise with strong professional skills and capabilities, offered in a digital environment through real-world engagement, authentic simulations and challenges, and embedded capability assessment.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) strives to deliver greater relevance and choice in the CA Program while maintaining the high standards and rigour of CA education.
Amplifying professional skills
The new CA Program sets out to maximise existing core strengths while encouraging high-impact skills, as we empower the next generation to become committed work-ready, future-focused Chartered Accountants.
The CA Program develops the growth of candidates’ professional capabilities to ensure that they develop into:
- Ethical and trusted partners
- Collaborators, communicators and influencers
- Digital transformation leaders
- Critical thinkers and problem solvers
- Adaptive and reflective professionals
Chartered Accountants ANZ conducted comprehensive research into the future capabilities of Chartered Accountants. Our resultant CA Capability Model was launched in 2020 and has informed our approach of integrating technical expertise and broad professional skills within the new CA Program.
The aim was to address the changing nature of work and global disruption of professions, while mapping the career stages, professional journeys and work needs of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand. The process spanned career trajectories, to ensure that we could provide a Chartered Accountant’s balanced development for today’s and tomorrow’s world of work.
The CA Capability Model focuses on four domains:
- Technical (professional expertise)
- Personal (mindset and intellect)
- Business (business context)
- Leadership (people and future)
The future-focused Program: providing relevance and choice
The new CA Program focuses on a combination of real world engagement, authentic simulations and challenges, and embedding professional skills to create a robust learning and development environment.
Real-world engagement provides candidates with valuable opportunities to practically apply what they have learned. This allows them to apply their knowledge to the workplace, using industry links embedded to highlight and enhance real-world examples and activities.
Authentic simulations are created using digital platforms that replicate the workplace. Candidates create documents and dashboards, and use commonly found accounting software and tools, such as PowerBI and Excel. The program develops communication and collaboration skills through team-based activities and assessments, and networking opportunities provided through virtual classrooms. With flexibility offered across online and face-to-face elements, the CA Program has been designed to reflect a modern workplace, with an emphasis on effective collaboration and team building.
Candidates work through authentic case studies and activities that incorporate professional and technical skills, which become increasingly complex as the program progresses. These incorporate the skill of finding, using and creating real-world documents that contain hidden ethical dilemmas – replicating what can occur in actual accounting practices. Case studies often have multiple acceptable answers to reflect actual business decision-making. These answers are assessed, not only on the technical response provided, but also on how effectively the candidates’ insights are communicated to the appropriate audience.
Digital learning environments
A digital learning environment allows candidates to study in a way that replicates the way they work. Supported by online tools such as digital study guides, microlearning videos, podcasts, infographics, case studies, practice questions and interactive examples, the content is easily accessible through desktop or mobile, and caters to candidates’ diverse study needs, preferences and styles.
Rigorous and weighted assessment
Assessment is critical to the way in which the CA Program embeds professional capabilities. The new CA Program leverages a number of assessment formats to assess all aspects of a candidate's capabilities. Rather than rewarding candidates for being ‘great at passing exams’, the variety of assessment methods ensure that our successful candidates are ‘great at being adaptive and effective Chartered Accountants’.
Assessments are based on real-world scenarios, where candidates are required to integrate technical and professional capabilities. Beyond technical analysis, candidates are asked to prepare reports, draft emails and deliver simulated presentations to stakeholders. Rather than being presented with a defined data set, candidates are consistently required to filter large amounts of information and distil insights to make appropriate recommendations – just as they will be expected to do as practising Chartered Accountants in the real world.
Assessments are designed to measure and provide feedback on candidates’ professional skills. Chartered Accountants ANZ engages and trains Chartered Accountants to mark assessments using performance criteria to judge the quality of candidate performance in different skill areas, such as communication.
The program will allow for greater specialisation through elective content, and hours have been adjusted for personalised, and impactful learning.
The future is here!
Take a closer look at the new CA Program features.Find out more