The latest IFAC SMP Quick Poll, conducted in late 2012, showed that the smallest accounting practices and their clients are not immune to macroeconomic instability. With the continuing sovereign debt crisis, a double-dip recession in the Eurozone, and rising inflation in some regions, economic uncertainty pervaded many of the responses to the poll of small- and medium-sized accounting practitioners (SMPs). Despite these concerns, SMPs remain cautiously optimistic, showing their resilience and perseverance during challenging times.
After keeping up with new regulations and standards, three issues related to the health of the economy—attracting and retaining clients, pressure to lower fees, and rising costs—topped the list of challenges faced by SMPs. Similarly, respondents indicated that their clients, small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs), are most challenged by regulations followed by economic uncertainty. Respondents generally expect little change in business performance in the coming year; however, slightly more SMPs (5 points more) indicated they expect business to improve in the coming year compared to those who said the same at the end of 2011. They expect this growth primarily to be driven by revenue from new clients.
While respondents identified the reputation and credibility of the profession as a top issue facing the profession in 2013, they generally ranked public perception of the profession in their country/jurisdiction as average to above average and expect this perception to improve by 2025.
“As drivers of growth and development, small businesses are extremely important to the health of local and global economies. We must not underestimate the value of this sector and the role that accountants play in supporting SMEs as trusted business advisors. Therefore, regulators and standard setters need to be mindful of the impact their requirements have on SMPs and SMEs; as the poll results show, this is an area that continues to challenge both small businesses and their accountants,” said SMP committee chair Giancarlo Attolini.
The poll report includes notable variations by region and size of practice in addition to trend data based on previous polls where available. See the full report in the SMP Committee area of the IFAC site: www.ifac.org/SMP.
By Todd Scaletta, FCMA
The Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability Project (www.accountingforsustainability.org) outlines how integrated thinking is required to embed sustainability into decision making. Although there are several components to integrated thinking, one important element is to have tools to make better decisions. As management accountants we have several tools to draw on that can be used to integrate sustainability initiatives. Therefore, instead of “re-inventing the wheel” we can use tools such as activity-based costing/management (ABC/M), the Balanced Scorecard, benchmarking, process based management, target costing and value chain analysis – to name just a few!
CMA Canada in partnership with the Consortium for Advanced Management – International (CAM-I) recently published an emerging issue paper on the topic of organizations using ABC/M to get a better understanding of their environment-related costs. This paper illustrates how organizations can use ABC/M to track, analyze and manage their greenhouse gases (GHG) footprint.
Management accountants have much to contribute to the field of environmental sustainability along with many other professionals (e.g., scientists, engineers, lawyers, etc.). Now is the time to lever the management accounting tools at your disposal.
Todd Scaletta, FCMA, is the vice-president of research and innovation, CMA Canada.
Strategic planning determines the direction an organization needs to take to achieve a desired future, not to mention a competitive advantage. But what’s the best approach? Is it better for organizations to have an outside-in strategy that focuses on the customer? Or is it better to have an inside-out strategy that focuses on organizational strength and weaknesses?
CMA Canada’s Research and Innovation department wanted to know so we asked the following people: members of the Pulse; a group of volunteer CMAs who are polled each month on a variety of topics and issues; Norman Sheehan, an associate professor in the department of accounting at the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business; and, Gord Cummings, a retired CEO who spent almost 20 years running Canada’s then-largest seafood company, National Sea Products, Ltd.
Results from our poll question and answers from Norman and Gord are featured in a column called “Spectrum” in the July/August 2012 issue of CMA magazine. Each month, we’ll continue to provide our members of the Pulse with a question and have two experts consider and communicate both ends of the “spectrum.” The objective of this article series is not to provide a “right answer” but rather provide CMAs and other readers of the publication with information they can use and apply in their own organizations.
If you’d like to be part of the Pulse, please email email@example.com. We also invite you to comment on the article using the comment function on this blog.
Thank you for visiting the CMA Blog / Blogue de CMA. My name is Andrea Civichino and I’m the research editor at CMA Canada. Chances are you stumbled upon this blog by visiting the new CMA Research website www.managementaccounting.org. Welcome! So, what do you think?
Take a look around. You’ll find a selection of Management Accounting Practices (MAPs), publications that deal with concepts that are directly linked to CMA Canada’s functional competencies (be sure to give the competency wheel a spin!); Management Accounting Guidelines (MAGs), guidance on how to implement advanced management accounting concepts in the workplace; Emerging Issue Papers, thought pieces designed to expand the boundaries of the management accounting profession by exploring issues as they begin to enter the marketplace; Case Studies, real-life examples of the implementation of advanced management accounting concepts in the workplace; and so much more!
Putting the website together to create a one-stop portal for everything to do with management accounting has been (and continues to be) an exciting journey for the team at CMA Canada. On that note, we’ve created this blog to connect with management accountants, share ideas, thoughts, and best practices. Be sure to check back for more posts and information. If you have an interesting idea, topic or would like to be a guest blogger, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for stopping by!