Stakeholders Advocate Increased Technical Competence to Drive Business Growth

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Ugo Aliogo, Abdulkareem Azeezat and Saheed Sakariyah

As part of efforts to drive business growth in Nigeria, stakeholders in the financial sector have advocated increased technical competence and insightful thinking amongst key players and investors in the sector.

They noted that for Nigeria’s financial industry to remain a driving force in the continent, there was need for increased engagement and adaptability to change in order to add value in the discharge of services to the public.

Disclosing this yesterday in Lagos, at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) event with the theme: Embracing Change; shaping the future, the Executive Director Business Consulting at IBFC Alliance Limited, Mrs. Folashade Odunaiya, said accounting professionals should able to combine knowledge of the business financial position with strategic insights required to guide the business towards the actualisation of its strategic goals while enhancing the value of the entire business.

Odunaiya who referred to an article in the Economist Magazine titled: “The Imperial Chief Financial Officer (CFO),” supported the stance that CFO’s role as businesses had become bigger, more complex trading across borders, and navigating financial markets with sophisticated instruments.

She urged accountants and CFOs to proactively manage these complex parts in order to ensure the sustenance and value creation for all stakeholders, adding that this is not concerned with amassing power which was portrayed in the article; but having to expand knowledge and use information to guide the entire business.

Odunaiya added: “What ACCA is doing today is shining a strong spotlight on the role of the Accountant and the CFO. As mentioned earlier, there’s nothing wrong in Accountants and CFOs being powerful – as long as it isn’t imperial or imposing but engaging; getting the “buy in” of everyone in the organisation.

“We must therefore ens ure that our power is discharged ethically and in a constructive manner with the overriding goal of enhancing the value of the organization always in mind.”

In her remark, the Country Head of ACCA, Mrs. Toyin Ademola, said the association collaborated with its global headquarters, in organising the launch of ACCA ‘Qualification: the future’, alongside a number offices around the world, stressing that Nigeria is one of the key market for ACCA on a global scale.

She said with the fast evolving nature of businesses, and development of new technologies, employers want financial professionals who can meet their business needs, not just for today but the future.

Ademola said as a result of ACCA’s drive to constantly, create and innovate, they organised a survey last year to find out from different employers in the world of the qualifications professional accountants of the future needs to have, “for us at ACCA, we are concerned that the professional accountants have the requisite skills this is what led to the re-design of our strategic business module.”

She explained that ACCA works with tertiary institutions, O-Level colleges and the public to promote financial literacy from the basics, lamenting that one of the challenges facing the nation is the huge deficit in financial illiteracy, “there is need for people who run businesses to have a basic financial understanding of accounting.”

Ademola further stressed that over the years they have succeeded in increasing their governance and ethics, while ensuring that the ethics and professional modules are compulsory, adding that before an ACCA trainer can be a member they have to pass not only the ethics module, but also the professional levels.