Date posted: 30/05/2022

Huge opportunities for accountants in fintech sector

A new report examines the rapidly expanding financial technology sector and highlights the opportunities for professional accountants.

In brief

  • Report reveals ten different job roles for accountants within the fintech (financial technology) sector relevant to accountants
  • Fintech is a thriving and diverse sector
  • Common principles, more secure data management and government support will strengthen the sector

Fintech (financial technology) is a thriving and diverse sector covering a range of areas such as online or neobanks, payment systems, application programming interfaces (APIs), investment banking back-end infrastructure, insurtech, wealthtech and regtech. It also covers more frontier areas like central bank digital currencies, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens.

Organisations are harnessing new technology to transform financial services and driving the growth of the ‘fintech’ sector which presents huge opportunities for accounting and finance professionals.

A joint report by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and ACCA examines the fintech sector’s growth and highlights ten diverse careers for accountants in fintech ranging from CFOs and auditors to digital transformation experts and entrepreneurs.

“The portfolio of skills held by many professional accountants, when coupled with an openness to change, a flexible mindset and a willingness to pivot to changing needs in a fast-paced industry, presents them with significant opportunities to get involved,” the report says.

Fintech the state of play: opportunities for finance professionals is based on a global survey of more than 5,700 CA ANZ and ACCA members. The report also draws on interviews with and case studies on members connected to fintech.

It examines the diversity and growth of the sector, the opportunities for further innovation and the varying global regulatory landscapes. The report also explores how fintech is making finance more inclusive by helping improve financial literacy and empowering consumers in both developed and emerging markets.

The fintech culture feels different to that of a traditional large financial services organisation, the report says. It has elements of the tech industry culture such as an informal style of working. “Also, it’s an innovation-driven culture which prides itself on ideas, learning, quick decision making, and changing direction fast when needed.”

The report suggests that accounting and finance professionals considering opportunities in fintech should:

  • build their awareness of the global fintech landscape and its competitive dynamics
  • understand the regulatory considerations in key areas of interest
  • reinforce an “innovation and purpose-driven mindset”

The report reveals ten different job roles for accountancy and finance professionals within fintech and illustrates how their contributions and skillsets add value to the organisations that they work with or represent. The case studies span a rich seam of experience from CFOs and auditors to digital transformation experts and entrepreneurs.

For each of these roles, the report suggests the skillsets most likely to be valued.

"Accountancy and finance professionals can be a part of the fintech world if they are not already. In fact, they are needed more than ever in this still relatively nascent industry – their expertise, knowledge and ethical lens are invaluable"
There is a diverse range of fintech activity already out there with more being developed. And accountancy and finance professionals can be a part of the fintech world if they are not already. In fact, they are needed more than ever in this still relatively nascent industry – their expertise, knowledge and ethical lens are invaluable.

As fintech disrupts the status quo, the report says, it is also collaborating with the traditional financial architecture that powers our world.

As such, governments need to incentivise innovation and growth in the sector. This includes building international links to promote best practices, working with education partners to improve skills, developing innovation labs and supporting fintech to tackle challenges such as financial inclusion.

Additionally, the report provides recommendations for governments and regulators to collaborate and explore common principles to inform fintech regulation, prioritise secure data management, and support innovation and growth, as a way to develop high-skilled jobs and industry.

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