2 November 2021

Call for Chartered Accountants to build on position of trust and lead on future challenges

According to the research from Chartered Accountants Worldwide and Edelman Data and Intelligence (DXI), trust in the chartered accountancy profession remains strong after the turmoil of the Covid-19 pandemic: 1,450 business decision makers consider chartered accountants as among the most trusted professionals, catching up to doctors, engineers, nurses and teachers, and ahead of groups including the legal profession and politicians. Chartered accountants are the most trusted finance professionals, ahead of bankers, financial advisors, economists and insurance brokers.

Performance on integrity has improved since 2019, but scrutiny has also increased, with transparency more important in driving trust in chartered accountancy professionals.

A majority of business decision-makers (84%) believe chartered accountants have the skills and expertise to make business thrive today, and 81% are confident in chartered accountants’ ability to navigate a new operating environment in the future. At the same time, there is a growing expectation that they must also follow up with action: 85% of financial decision makers say it is important that CA professionals demonstrate a track record of helping businesses thrive.

Most respondents (70%) see chartered accountants as credible spokespeople on societal issues such as sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion. But they also expect accountants to follow through by driving sustainable environmental practices within businesses, and doing more to foster diversity, equity and inclusion practices.

Speaking at today’s event, Chartered Accountants Worldwide chairman Michael Izza said: “Chartered accountants are the first port of call for many businesses and saved many livelihoods during the pandemic. Over the next ten years, chartered accountants will play a leading role in tackling critical problems including climate change, which is one of the biggest challenges humanity has faced. As problem solvers, chartered accountants can be counted on to find solutions to the world’s most complex economic and moral issues, including global warming and net zero.”

At the launch event, Carolyn Colley, Non-Executive Director at the Australian Securities Exchange, said there will be a changed role for chartered accountants in many areas of business and society, such as tackling emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, all aspects of ESG [environmental, social and governance], and managing ever-growing volumes of information. “I don’t think there’s anyone better positioned to manage and govern data because it’s what we have been doing since the dawn of time. We’re not going to be seen as the leader in any of those areas unless we have the underlying position of trust.”

Freeman Nomvalo, CEO of the South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) spoke about how the profession must develop the skills to be able to navigate challenges the future will bring.

“The profession needs to spend more time developing what we call ‘enabling competencies’ because the environment is complex and uncertain and ambiguous, so you need professionals to be able to navigate that environment. We should focus on investing in the competencies that our members are going to need for the future if they are going to be relevant and adaptable.”

Full playback of the launch event can be found at this link: https://charteredaccountantsworldwide.com/rebuilding-trust/


The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 50 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants (CAs[SA]), as well as associate general accountants (AGAs[SA]) and accounting technicians (ATs[SA]), who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

Chartered Accountants are highly valued for their versatile skill set and creative lateral thinking, that's why all of the top 100 Global Brands employ Chartered Accountants.

SAICA Media Contacts

Renette Human, ***@saica.co.za
Project Director: Communications
SAICA Brand Division