Only fittest sur­vive in volatile, un­cer­tain, com­plex en­vi­ron­ment

ICAP: CFO Con­fer­ence 2016

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

SALIM AHMED LA­HORE—‘Only the fittest sur­vive in volatile, un­cer­tain, com­plex and Am­bigu­ous (VUCA) en­vi­ron­ment that is al­most al­ways present around the globe.’ This was stated by speak­ers at CFO Con­fer­ence 2016 or­ga­nized by the In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of Pak­istan (ICAP) in La­hore. The speak­ers in­cluded Pres­i­dent ICAP Hafiz Mo­ham­mad Yousuf, Dr. Jaf­frey Stacey, Man­ag­ing Part­ner, Geopolic­ity, USA, CE Fun­verks Global Farhad Kar­mally, CEO KAPCO Aftab Mehmood Butt, and among oth­ers. High­light­ing the role of fi­nance in VUCA en­vi­ron­ment, they said tra­di­tion­ally the fi­nance role has been charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of fi­nan­cial man­age­ment and book­keep­ing.

‘Cur­rently in ad­di­tion to con­ven­tional role, now the fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als are get­ting in­volved in com­mer­cial, projects and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion func­tions,’ they said adding that this is a big leap from main­tain­ing/ pre­sent­ing the his­toric re­sults to fi­nan­cial pro­jec­tions, fea­si­bil­i­ties and busi­ness de­vel­op­ments. ‘In fu­ture the role of fi­nance would that be of busi­ness driver and Lead­er­ship role in busi­ness. Fi­nan­cial lead­ers should set clear tar­gets based on in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal ex­pec­ta­tions,’ they stated. They added that fi­nan­cial lead­ers are now re­quired to posses cross func­tional knowl­edge/ skill de­vel­op­ment and are ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tors. ‘The fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als are now re­quired to come up with new busi­ness pro­pos­als and strat­egy for busi­ness sus­tain­abil­ity and growth, un­like tra­di­tion­ally where they com­ment on the his­toric data,’ they stated.

Dr. Jef­frey A Stacey, Man­ag­ing Part­ner of Geopolic­ity, USA, who served as a speech­writer and leg­isla­tive aide to for­mer Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter and as Chief of Staff to Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, de­liv­ered his key­note on ‘Geopo­lit­i­cal, Eco­nomic and Trade Fu­tures’ He said that 2.2 bil­lion peo­ple be­long­ing to mid­dle class will drive the mar­ket econ­omy in 2030. ‘40 per­cent of the work­force will be au­to­mated in the next 10 years. We have to think proac­tively to cre­ate jobs for the peo­ple which may be re­placed by au­to­ma­tion,’ he added. The con­fer­ence also hosted a panel dis­cus­sion on ‘Thriv­ing in the Age of Dis­rup­tion Dis­rupt or Get Dis­rupted’. ‘Our top­ics used to be about be­ing watch­dogs, pru­dence and au­dit and now ICAP is thriv­ing and chang­ing in this VUCA world with elec­tronic reg­is­tra­tion, drone and live feed,’ said Yasir Ma­sood, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Fi­nance, Cherat Ce­ment Com­pany.

He added that char­tered ac­coun­tants have re­mained con­ser­va­tive but tra­di­tional ac­coun­tants have no space now and we have to change the role as CFO are con­vert­ing into busi­ness lead­ers. ‘In large scale man­u­fac­tur­ing, which is a fuel de­pen­dent in­dus­try, VUCA im­ple­men­ta­tion and tech­nol­ogy dis­rup­tion could be be­com­ing fuel ef­fi­cient as Pak­istan is a fuel de­fi­cient coun­try,’ he said, adding that we have to ex­ploit re­new­able en­ergy to be dis­rup­tive or we will be get dis­rupted. ‘VUCA is not just an en­vi­ron­ment but a mind­set. If you look at google they don’t write con­tent, Airbnb owns no ho­tel, Uber owns no car or driver,’ said Zo­hair Yousafi, Head of Ex­pan­sion, Uber Pak­istan. He added that it’s all about in­no­va­tion as a soft­ware used to have a life cy­cle of 15 years but now it has been re­duced to 3 to 4 years, so you have to in­no­vate to com­pete in this VUCA world. Chair­man PAIB Com­mit­tee of ICAP Khalilul­lah Shaikh said con­trary to pop­u­lar opin­ion that char­tered ac­coun­tants mostly be­come au­di­tors by join­ing dif­fer­ent au­dit­ing firms, over 70 per­cent of char­tered ac­coun­tant are work­ing as Pro­fes­sional Ac­coun­tants in Busi­ness (PAIB) in var­i­ous busi­ness func­tions such as Fi­nance, Plan­ning, and Bud­get­ing Projects.

‘The CFO Con­fer­ence is pri­mar­ily aimed at equip­ping PAIBs with the skills they need to ex­cel in their pro­fes­sions, to learn and adapt to the rapidly chang­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment in the VUCA world,’ he added. He added that ICAP has so far or­ga­nized 13 CFO Con­fer­ences with to­tal par­tic­i­pa­tion of more than 6,000 busi­ness lead­ers and fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als. ‘ICAP PAIB Com­mit­tee en­joys strong recog­ni­tion by In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Ac­coun­tants (IFAC), in fact, IFAC show­cases us as an in­spi­ra­tional model for all ac­count­ing bod­ies across the globe,’ he added. He in­formed that ICAP is host­ing IFAC PAIBC Meet­ing in Dubai in Septem­ber 2016 along with its CFO Con­fer­ence which will be an­other land­mark achieve­ment for the in­sti­tute.

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