Our research insights

How do we determine the future of the accountancy profession?

We’re uniquely positioned with a vast membership that spans over 180 countries, which puts a highly skilled network of professionals at our fingertips. And it’s by asking our network critical questions that we can really understand where our profession is today – and what the future holds.

'The global accountancy profession has an important role to play in ensuring organisations of all sizes adhere to the highest ethical and governance standards.’
- Helen Brand OBE, ACCA chief executive

Our research shows that ethical behaviour is more important than ever, and that professional accountants must continue to build knowledge of emerging technologies to help them navigate ethical situations in the digital age.

77% of respondents rated ethics as ‘very important’ in the digital age

Dealing with stakeholders in government or the regulator is common source of ethical pressure points

94% agree that IESBA principles still apply and remain relevant

‘For accountants it is important we understand where the threats are coming from, such as ransomware; appropriate network security is needed to be in place at all times.’

- Kola Agunbiade, Chief Financial Officer, IS Internet Solutions (A division of Dimension Data)

‘Some accountants are unable to adapt to our changing technology environment. This hinders their ability to undertake or support necessary steps, such as annual penetration testing, utilising the power or big data and eliminating unnecessary manual data processing.’

- Michelle Hourican, Director, Datatrails

63% believe a strong ethical leadership within the organisation is needed to promote ethical behaviour in organisations

Embedding ethical standards in day-to-day procedures is important to upholding ethics in an increasingly digital world

42% C-suite executives think that the accountant’s ethical behaviour helps the organisation build trust with internal and external stakeholders


‘One of the key things is around trust; you know the customer trusts that when you give them their information you will keep it confidential.’

- Vincent Acholah Opiyo, Head of Finance Operations, Safaricom Limited

Get the full picture from our insight report

Read the Ethics and trust in a digital age findings (PDF, 12MB)

Highlights from our insight report

Read our summary Ethics and trust in a digital age report (PDF format, 1MB)