By Kyriakos Iordanou*
We are currently living in an era which is characterized by the rapidly changing political, legal, institutional, societal environment. The modern globalization concept negates country boundaries, rendering them mere geographical points of reference. In the digital age, there is no domicile and no place for doing business; the whole world is one big market place!
The above assertions should not be viewed with skepticism, but, to the contrary, would very well be the alarm clock that awakes us. This new era, however, calls primarily for two essential elements:
- Good in-advance planning, anticipation of future needs and start to build solutions from now, and
- Maximisation of the use of technology, pursuing a digital transformation of operations and activities.
To accomplish the above, it is of paramount importance to promptly deploy an appropriate strategic plan at national level, covering an adequate medium-term period of time. This is crucial if the goal is to remain relevant and prosperous!
We at ICPAC have realized the need for continuous adaptation to the changing environment. Keeping pace with and exceeding the coming developments is vital for the long-term sustainability of the country as well as our profession. The accountancy profession and the service industry in general are highly attached to technology, hence we should be bold and perceptive to take up the challenge and make the big step towards digitalization.
Hence, ICPAC having reviewed its current strategic goals, decided upon a new strategic planning for the period 2017 – 2020 based upon four pillars, each one being interlinked with the previous and the following one:
- Strengthening the organizational structure and efficiency of the Institute
- Strengthening the role, image and credibility of the Institute
- Strengthening the accountancy profession in Cyprus and abroad
- Boosting the economy of the country and its position as a credible international business centre of good repute.
The first consequence of the new strategic plan, is the adoption of a new vision statement, which better reflects current and future endeavors, aspiring ICPAC to be “a model professional body, recognised by the state and society as the primary stakeholder for the accountancy profession and the economy in general, instilling confidence, credibility and value”.
The journey to continual improvement and development is a never ending one. Engaging in cutting-edge technologies and abolishing traditional means of carrying out business is the only sensible way forward. By adopting digitalized systems, one can pursue less bureaucracy, more transparency, less judgement and less corruption, on the one hand; and increased effectiveness and efficiency, lower overheads and other costs, on the other.
The big stake in today’s changing world is to remain relevant and abreast of the competition! But it is essential to take it with maximum seriousness, maturity and practicality, whilst being visionary. Complacency is a lethal disease. Something that may be done successfully today, would most probably be obsolete in the very near future! So, prompt national strategic planning constitutes a vital element for the long-term viability of the whole economy of the country.
Therefore, let’s identify the future services and products to be offered in the medium term, assess their anticipated success and start building the future from today!
*General Manager – Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus