IFAC offers plan for transforming practices amid coronavirus

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The International Federation of Accountants has published a roadmap for transforming small and medium-sized accounting practices in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic and moving them into the future.

IFAC’s ‘‘Practice Transformation Action Plan – A Roadmap to the Future’’ focuses on four main areas for firms: embrace change, leverage technology, focus on talent management, and evolve the firm operating model and build advisory services.

The document points out the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the adoption of technology for many firms whose employees are now operating remotely through flexible work arrangements. The unprecedented situation is giving accounting practitioners significant opportunities to adapt and provide services in a quickly changing economic environment. As trusted business advisers, accountants are in the best spot to offer clients with an array of services to help them cope with these difficult and uncertain times.

Small and medium-sized practices, or SMPs, could still be in a “fire-fighting” phase but want to be proactive and ready to adapt to radical and unplanned changes. Effective transformation of accounting practices needs bold leadership, innovative approaches to training and continued learning, and a stress on offering appropriate, value-added services.

The action plan stems from advice and guidance from the IFAC SMP Committee and recognizes that every firm will be different. The actions taken will need to be tailored to each firm’s circumstances and objectives to be successful.

IFAC has posted a practice transformation web page on its site, with case studies, examples of how some of its member organizations — such as CPA Australia, CPA Ireland and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria — are supporting firms as they innovate and change to deal with the pandemic, along with other tools and resources.

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IFAC Coronavirus International accounting Small business Practice management