CAPA explores developments in the Accounting Technicians sector in 2020 Update report

Published date: December 18, 2020

Accounting Technicians (ATs) or accountants in the mid-tier stream are often regarded as a vital link in the financial reporting ecosystem. Typically, being the workforce supporting the analysis and preparation of financial information at an operational level, ATs usually provide cost-effective services to organisations and play an important support roles to professional accountants.

In late 2018, the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) launched the Accounting Technicians – Exploring Opportunities for the Profession’ publication. The aim of the publication was to encourage a better understanding of the AT sector and for professional accountancy organisations (PAOs) to consider the importance of ATs as part of the wider accountancy profession. The findings from this publication, which were partly informed by a 2016 CAPA Survey, were clear – a strong AT cohort can be beneficial to the economy, government, businesses and individuals, and is in public interest.

These findings are further supported by the work of other key stakeholders such as the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and development partners. A sound case exists for building relevant qualifications at different levels and, as appropriate, broadening the membership base, which serves to further strengthen the accountancy profession and in turn support the full spectrum of the economy.

The accountancy profession landscape is continually evolving. Against this backdrop of rapid change, CAPA undertook a follow-up study to further understand key developments that have occurred since 2018. Leveraging on the insights and scale of CAPA members and other PAOs in or with an interest in Asia Pacific, some interesting findings surfaced.

We are excited to announce the release of a second AT focused publication titled ‘Accounting Technicians – 2020 Update: Recent Developments’. The 2020 Update report includes nineteen (19) ‘Country Updates’, nine (9) of which are updates to ‘Case Studies’ featured in the 2018 publication, with the remainder updates from countries not included in that publication.

“This 2020 Update report identifies key trends and a number of ‘influencing factors’ from a demand and supply spectrum that impacted decisions regarding if and how the AT sector develops in a particular context,” CAPA Chief Executive, Brian Blood, noted.

CAPA found five (5) key factors that appear to influence decisions to develop the AT segment, namely:

  • Market Trends and Recognition
  • Professionalisation of SMEs and Public Sector
  • Government Policy Agenda and Recognition
  • Historical Institutional Arrangements
  • A Motivated PAO

While not exhaustive, nor mutually exclusive, the factors above reflect the myriad of overarching factors that can influence what decisions are taken in the different jurisdictions. For each of these factors, the report presents sample questions to encourage organisational consideration and learning.

Nancy Foran, CAPA Board member and Chair of the Member Development Committee (which provided oversight for the publications) commented, “the first publication encouraged PAOs to have a stronger understanding of the AT sector, its importance, and whether and how they might create, support, partner, liaise with, or otherwise assist with developing and/or strengthening an AT (or equivalent) cohort within their country.”

“We hope this second report will contribute towards further conversations as PAOs continue to explore and consider potential opportunities in this important sector of the accountancy profession,” she added.

To access an electronic copy of ‘Accounting Technicians – 2020 Update: Recent Developments’click here.

To access an electronic copy of all available Accounting Technicians publications, go to: PAO Development > Accounting Technicians