HR Indaba Africa 2019: The ACCA has just celebrated 75 years of research and ingishts

The ACCA was able to create awareness and value proposition to HR practitioners.

The inaugural HR Indaba featured the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which last year celebrated its 75th anniversary. ACCA Business Development Manager Kada Phiri spoke to CHRO South Africa about what their impressions of the inaugural event were and what the organisation has planned for the coming years.

What was your overall impression of the inaugural HR Indaba?

"The event was well organised and the themes were in line with the current issues in the south African and global context due to the rapid changes in the digital space. ACCA was able to create awareness and value proposition to HR practitioners. ACCA will be participating at next HR Indaba as it is a fantastic platform to engage with HR professionals across various industries. It will also give us an opportunity to drive engagement and thought leadership on the future of the accounting profession."

"The HR Indaba is aligned with our public interest goal of making 'a positive contribution to the development of the accountancy profession, by making an impact on government policy and legislation, and by helping to make material available which is of practical utility to members and society as a whole'."

Provide one example of a conversation you had at the Indaba that stood out.

"ACCA South Africa’s participation at the event included a speaker slot and a panel dialogue session. The first slot had the theme ‘The key to unlock your true potential’, and the title of the presentation was ‘Accounting and Human Resources are indispensable to each other as leadership is to learning’. This was presented by Manenzhe Manenzhe FCCA, CFO at Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. The presentation highlighted that HR and finance departments have sometimes found themselves at odds, since the goals and contributions of each have traditionally been viewed as focusing on different areas of business strategy."

"While HR professionals are dedicated to the efficient deployment of human capital, finance managers see themselves as a revenue generating centre and often view human capital as a cost. The traditional roles of HR and finance are, however, shifting and they are finding that their focuses are overlapping more and more. After all, from a CFO’s perspective, profitability is the goal; however, that goal cannot be reached without a high-performing workforce devoted to meeting the same objectives."

"Of course, there is no functional company without a functional workforce. And there can be no workforce without careful management of necessary salary, benefit, and tax-related expenditures. Business owners and CEOs need to recognise the occasional friction between HR and finance and keep both departments working in harmony toward a shared vision of company success. Just as important, CEOs facing critical business decisions often need to choose between two sets of conflicting advice."

What are your company’s strategic objectives and goals for the coming year? What are your plans for 2019 and what should your existing and potential future clients look forward to seeing from you?

"Last year marked a very important milestone:  ACCA's 75th anniversary of thought leadership. From the formation of the technical advisory committee in 1943, through years of innovative research, to today's professional insight team. Over the last 75 years, the outputs of the technical and research teams at ACCA have contributed increasingly to our mission to be a global leader in the profession – and we’re looking forward to 75 more years of the same."

"On 8  November 2018 ACCA launched a professional insight report on Learning for the future.The report notes that the  world of accountants is evolving and professionals in the field must take stock of those dynamics, or risk becoming marginalised. For the HR Indaba, this report becomes important as it requires new and innovative ways of doing things. ACCA has also developed a unique diagnostic tool for individuals to self-assess their level of EQ against a global benchmark specific to the accountancy profession. The tool provides practical guidance on how to improve effectiveness in the EQ competency."