Rising to the challenge

Adapting to the future of financial foresight

The world is changing in profound ways. Technologies are driving rapid change in how we live and work, and they are poised to drive a revolution in the audit and accounting disciplines. We’ve given a great deal of thought to how our core disciplines will need to adapt to the ever-changing demand for financial foresight.

But how can the accounting and audit profession stay relevant in that future? And what is Deloitte’s own role in creating it? This paper offers our perspective on the future of the profession and offers our suggestions on how it must evolve to adapt to its new reality.

Preparing for tomorrow today

The enduring need for financial foresight

Deloitte defines financial foresight as the consumption and synthesis of a wide-ranging set of data and information available about a company—including its parts, its competitors, and external factors that could affect its future—to understand and validate the company’s performance to date and assess its prospects for success.

Company management and its directors
They use financial foresight to make decisions on the company’s strategy, capital allocation, and operations, and assess whether it’s on track to meet current and future performance targets.

Investors and lenders
They use financial foresight to consider whether to invest in a company, analyze probable return on investment, and assess whether the enterprise will meet performance expectations.

How Canada’s CPA profession must evolve

To stay relevant, CPAs need to embrace new thinking and new approaches

Canada’s CPA profession must look forward and embrace a new purpose: to provide valued financial foresight that drives sound business strategies and decisions, and to catalyze the implementation of those strategies and decisions.

In pursuing its new purpose, the profession must also concurrently consider optimizing how they do so by:

Rethinking how we work

As millennials start to form the majority of our increasingly diverse workforces, companies, professional bodies and accounting firms must ensure they create work environments and support ways of working that attract and engage a new generation of talent and enable them to thrive.

Educating for new skillsets

In our digital world, CPAs are going to need very different skills compared to what they needed in the past. As more tasks becomes automated, CPAs will do less and less recording, aggregating, analyzing and reporting on transactions—because the machines will be able to do that continuously, in real time.

Embrace digital technology

If CPAs must thrive in a digital world, so too must the profession itself. Our professional bodies must embrace digital ways of working, including in terms of engagement with members. They must transform themselves to better reflect today’s digital organizations—the kinds of organizations CPAs will be working at every day.

The future: what’s next?

Our profession embracing a new purpose: to provide valued financial foresight that drives sound business strategies and decisions, and to execute the implementation of those strategies and decisions. To learn more, download the full report.

A time of change. A call to action.

All players in the financial reporting ecosystem must adapt to a new world. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, we would like to hear from you.

Contact us