Emerging technologies to be incorporated into exams

ICAEW has unveiled sophisticated plans to incorporate emerging technologies into its accountancy qualification by 2021.

To this end, it is joining forces with cloud-based accounting data analytics firm Inflo, to ensure the ACA qualification is ‘fit for the future’. Interestingly, the ICAEW felt it had to act now, ahead of the new syllabus update, due for September 2020.

The collaboration will first focus on the Audit & Assurance exam. The ICAEW’s director of education, Shaun Robertson (pictured), told PQ magazine that auditors in practice are increasingly using more advanced approaches to interrogate client data, and are using analytics to help them with risk assessment and fraud testing.

He explained that small pilots have taken place and the new-look exam has been well received by those taking part. “It’s just like being at work,” explained the testers.

Robertson promised the software will also test the thorny issue of scepticism, something many current auditors have be accused of not having! Once Audit & Assurance is up and running the collaboration will then expand into the Corporate Reporting exam.

Inflo CEO Mark Edmondson is an ICAEW accountant who qualified with PwC. He said embracing the skills challenge and incorporating emerging technologies in the ACA qualification means the ICAEW is ensuring the profession stays attractive to those beginning their careers.