ACCA chief executive Helen Brand said accountants need to be able to deal with global volatility and the way it impacts the businesses they advise.
“It’s not so much a question of there being one economic crisis that suddenly hits everybody; volatility starts in many different ways in different parts of the world and professional accountants need to know how to respond so they can support their customers,” said Ms Brand.
They need to ensure their business clients are flexible and adaptive in the way they work, and that they also recognise the opportunities – “with every risk there is an opportunity”.
“You cannot be insular in this world. You need to be attuned to the opportunities that lie in the global market, whether regionally in Asia or further away. You can’t sit back and think, 'Well, that economic crisis is only happening in the UK, India or China'. It will have that ripple effect,” said Ms Brand.
Businesses, she said, need professional accountants as their business partners to help them navigate “what are very choppy waters at the moment”.
“Professional accountants very much need to play the business partner role, to look forward and to identify opportunities and strategise [with their clients],” she said.