Accountants Rescued by the 'Magnificent Seven'

Published on June 23, 2016

Forget about Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Horst Buchholz and Brad Dexter. Accountants need a “Magnificent Seven” set of attributes to survive in today’s business environment, according to new research from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. 

To define what the 2016 finance professional must look like, the ACCA has developed a set of seven Professional Quotients—a mix of technical knowledge, skills and abilities formed with interpersonal behaviors and qualities. 

• Technical and ethical competencies (TQ): The skills and abilities to perform activities consistently to a defined standard. Often based on a professional qualification. 

• Intelligence (IQ): The ability to acquire and use knowledge: thinking, reasoning and solving problems. 

• Creative intelligence (CQ): The ability to use existing knowledge in a new situation, to make connections, explore potential outcomes, and generate new ideas. 

• Digital quotient (DQ): The awareness and application of existing and emerging digital technologies, capabilities, practices, strategies, and culture. 

• Emotional intelligence (EQ): The ability to identify your own emotions and those of others, harness and apply them to tasks, and regulate and manage them. 

• Vision (VQ): The ability to predict future trends accurately by extrapolating existing trends and facts, and filling the gaps by thinking innovatively.  

• Experience (XQ): The ability and skills to understand customer expectations, meet desired outcomes, and create value. 

The seven attributes are described in a new report, Professional Accountants – the Future, along with an in-depth analysis of the accounting profession and where it is headed. 

“These ‘magnificent seven’ strengths show the way ahead,” said ACCA chief executive Helen Brand in a statement. “They are the means by which accountants use their technical knowledge, skills, and abilities blended with the interpersonal behaviors and qualities to put them to use,” she said. “Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. The key is to recognize where you excel and where you need to work to build your competency through the continuous professional development which professional accountants already know so well.” 

The report comes ahead of the release this fall of a highly anticipated remake of the 1960 Western, "The Magnificent Seven," which itself was a remake of the 1954 Japanese classic, "The Seven Samurai." 

Brand’s message to current and aspiring accountants is that a blend of all of these attributes makes the perfect finance professional, ready for the global business challenges they will face. 

“The accountant’s role has been revolutionized over the past decade, with finance professionals becoming leaders, trusted expert counsel and key strategic advisers to organizations whether in the public or private sectors,” said Brand. “With this metamorphosis comes a requirement for a whole new set of skills. On top of technical excellence, professional accountants now require creativity, emotional intelligence and the vision to lead.” 

“We discovered a brave new world of more regulation, greater globalization, ever-increasing risk, and of course, massive technological advancement,” she said. “The accountancy profession has to be ahead of the curve on all fronts—
(Source:  AccountingToday – Daily Edition – June 6, 2016)