Podcast: Inside Accountancy Episode 1 – What skills does the accountant of the future need?

Introducing Inside Accountancy, Accountancy Age’s new podcast series where we shall be discussing the key issues facing the profession and industry today.

In our first ever episode, our reporter Tom Lemmon speaks to Rowena Hawkes about the skills needed by the accountant of the future.

Rowena is the regional business development manager at the ICAEW for South Wales and the South West. She has over 15 years of experience supporting the growth of individuals and firms through learning and development in the accountancy sector, and works with students and the organisations that employ those students going through the process of gaining ICAEW qualifications.


Inside Accountancy podcast snippet – Rowena talks about how the ICAEW exam modules are kept up-to-date and relevant to working environments found in the industry today:

“All of the ICAEW exam modules now are assessed on a computer, which is really just to replicate the working environment, and it’s a far more relevant assessment method for us. The academic integrity of the exams has very much been maintained, and the questions are all still scenario based.

“We require the students to provide us with long form answers, and that’s from the professional level exams and beyond. The students then need to exercise huge amount of professional scepticism, using lots of different sources of information that’s provided to them on the exam day, they have to plan and then prioritize and communicate commercial recommendations within their exam answers.

“I think as it and technology have come a long way in terms of being embedded within the ACA syllabus, and we work with employers continually to ensure that there’s relevance within the qualification.

“We ensure that there’s technology coverage in all of the individual exams where it has a relevant touch point, rather than teaching it as a standalone subject.”

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