Date posted: 17/11/2021

Finance teams urged to embrace change and be the leaders of transformation

In brief

  • ACCA, CA ANZ and Generation CFO join forces to help finance teams navigate disruption, risks and continuous change
  • Insights from NTT DATA explain that transformation is a series of strategic, incremental, changes that improve the business model.

Organisations continue to face rapid change in the face of Covid-19, climate change and technological innovations – and a new report urges the finance functions who work in these places to lead and embrace this change, or risk being left behind. 

In Transformational journeys: finance and the agile organisation ACCA, CA ANZ and Generation CFO assert that the role of the finance function and its skill sets are intricately linked to organisational transformation.

But they also warn that certainty about the purpose of finance and accountancy professionals in organisations is needed to ensure their future relevance. How the finance team aligns to organisational goals is vital to ensure they continue to contribute effectively to the transformation of where they work – whether large or small.

Finance teams’ roles are becoming wider in scope, managing operational, climate and non-financial data, and delivering insights based on robust data analytics collected by efficient and effective processes. As such, they need to be at the heart of transformation as key players in an organisation’s performance and control agendas. 

Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA explains: ‘Finance professionals have a clear role to play in transformation. The nature of that role is dependent on the extent to which they have a vision of how finance itself can contribute to the organisation of the future. Finance teams need to be forward thinking and agile in the face of relentless change.’

Ainslie van Onselen, chief executive, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand adds: ‘There’s no doubt that the speed of change will continue to accelerate. Being prepared for that acceleration will enable finance and accountancy professionals to play their full role in the transformation process and help secure long-term organisational success.’

Chris Argent, Founder and CEO, Generation CFO comments: ‘The advice I’d give as a one-time FD myself, is for accountants to explore how they can play a major role in the future direction and development of their organisations. This is not just about appreciating the technology enhancements that are on-going, but also understanding the cultural shifts in the ways of working that the pandemic has brought into focus.’

The report includes insights from Jason Ford, Vice President at NTT DATA UK regarding what transformation actually is – strategic, incremental, changes that improve the business model – and key trends in transformation, from understanding the risks to the rise of the ‘Cloud Native’. 

Ford explains: ‘Transformation is a very broad topic. As organisations evolve to respond to the needs of their customers, we must reappraise how we assess the effectiveness of transformation. This requires collaboration between those charged with the development and delivery of services and the finance function, in order to understand the realities of the investment case and effective performance measurement. It is for this reason that organisations need to ensure agility is at the heart of their business strategy, so they can not only respond quickly and adapt to shifting customer expectations, but they do so in the most effective and efficient manner possible.’

Advice and ways to make transformation happen conclude the report, with tangible ways accountants can lead the way from engaging with the environment as a matter of urgency to looking to the purpose of businesses and the profession’s moral responsibility. 

Transforming business in a changing world

CA ANZ's new report offer tangible ways accounting and finance professionals can lead on transformation.

Read more

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:
Helen Thompson, Head of Corporate Comms, ACCA
M: +44 (0)7725 498 654 
[email protected] 

Priya Kumar, Australian Public Affairs & Media Relations Manager, CA ANZ
Tel: +61 2 9080 5852
M.: +61 424 491 584
[email protected] 

Bunny Richings, Chief Operational Officer, Generation CFO
M.: +44 (0) 7876 821 380 
[email protected] 

About ACCA: We’re a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.


We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business and digital expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organisations and flourishing societies.

Since 1904, being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital in helping economies, organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organisations are managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities.

And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organisation.
Find out more at:  

About CA ANZ: Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) represents more than 128,000 financial professionals, supporting them to build value and make a difference to the businesses, organisations and communities in which they work and live. Around the world, Chartered Accountants are known for their integrity, financial skills, adaptability and the rigour of their professional education and training.

CA ANZ promotes the Chartered Accountant (CA) designation and high ethical standards, delivers world-class services and life-long education to members and advocates for the public good. We protect the reputation of the designation by ensuring members continue to comply with a code of ethics, backed by a robust discipline process. We also monitor Chartered Accountants who offer services directly to the public.

Our flagship CA Program, the pathway to becoming a Chartered Accountant, combines rigorous education with practical experience. Ongoing professional development helps members shape business decisions and remain relevant in a changing world.

We actively engage with governments, regulators and standard-setters on behalf of members and the profession to advocate in the public interest. Our thought leadership promotes prosperity in Australia and New Zealand.

Our support of the profession extends to affiliations with international accounting organisations.

We are a member of the International Federation of Accountants and are connected globally through Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance. Chartered Accountants Worldwide brings together members of 13 chartered accounting institutes to create a community of more than 1.8 million Chartered Accountants and students in more than 190 countries. CA ANZ is a founding member of the Global Accounting Alliance which is made up of 10 leading accounting bodies that together promote quality services, share information and collaborate on important international issues. More information is here: 

ACCA and CA ANZ created a strategic alliance in June 2016, forming one of the largest accounting alliances in the world. It represents 870,000 current and next generation accounting professionals across 179 countries and provides a full range of accounting qualifications to students and business. Together, ACCA and CA ANZ represent the voice of members and students, sharing a commitment to uphold the highest ethical, professional and technical standards.

About Generation CFO: Generation CFO is the leading and largest community within the accounting and finance industry worldwide.

Chris Argent, MD and Head of Community has worked for some of the world’s leading accounting and finance organisations and digital finance functions. Through insight and partnership from leading industry voices, our website and events provide insight and practical guidance to be the leading destination for industry finance professionals, including CFO’s, Financial Controllers, Senior Finance Managers, FP&A, Commercial Finance and financial decision-makers.

We’ve been around since 2009 as a digital community for finance leaders (yep, that’s five years before Power BI went live and two years before Zoom went zoom). Over this time, we have built a professional community c. 100,000 members.

We’re a digital community and here for you to learn and discover everything you need to begin your digital transformation journey. Whatever your learning style, we have something for everyone… whether that be through ‘The Shift’ our thought leadership content on the website, networking with your peers through our FiMind community or attending our annual summit or monthly educational events to learn from experts in the industry, the options are endless. Find out more, here: 

About NTT DATA: NTT DATA is a leading IT services provider and global innovation partner headquartered in Tokyo, with business operations in over 50 countries. Our emphasis is on long-term commitment combining global reach with local intimacy to provide premier professional services varying from consulting and systems development to outsourcing. For more information, visit


Search related topics