ACCA Think Ahead

Ahead of the General Election, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has released a five-point manifesto for the next government.

‘Britain is facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities over the coming months and years. This is a time for the government to take stock, review existing structures and strategies, and prepare a long-term plan to benefit the UK economy and business,’ said Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of ACCA.

1.  A sustainable industrial strategy for everyone

Any new administration must look to boost businesses confidence and establish a stable economic environment. This includes the continued commitment to a UK-wide industrial strategy that helps businesses of all sizes to start, grow and boost the UK’s economy and productivity.


The strategy must hone in on the barriers to growth for SMEs and scale-ups, with a recognition that the challenges faced in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will differ according to financial landscapes, connectivity and talent pools.

Regional administrations will need to work closely with local businesses to identify effective solutions to the challenges that are holding UK businesses back.

An ambitious, UK-wide strategy sends a clear signal to international partners that the UK remains a reliable long-term business partner that is actively looking for cross-border business opportunities.

2.  A practical approach to skills gaps

Government must recognise employers are best placed to identify skills gaps and anticipate what capabilities workforces of the future will need.

To create a future-proofed workforce, the right educational programmes and skills training must be put in place. Governments, schools and businesses alike need to look beyond traditional education routes when developing a highly skilled and agile workforce. This must focus on creating a lifelong learning culture within the workplace and boosting career aspirations for younger generations.

The first step must be a wholesale review of national careers advice and building strong links between local businesses, schools and learning providers to ensure a better alignment between learning and the workplace.

Vocational education will play a key part in the creation of a multi-skilled and flexible workforce, it is therefore vital vocational career pathways, such as apprenticeships, include core transferrable skills that benefit both individuals and employers

3.  A return to the basics of the tax system

The government should revisit key tenets of the tax system such as business rates, and ensure they are conducting a root and branch review of current systems, with consideration of the changing post-Brexit business landscape. It may be time, for example, to detach business rates from property values.

We welcome the deferment of Making Tax Digital following its removal from the Finance Bill, allowing government and stakeholders to reassess the current plan post-election. The next seven weeks of purdah gives us time to take a constructive and close look at the Finance Bill, and then the delayed MTD can be later scrutinised alongside potential accelerated tax payments.

We hope that the next government avoids the temptation to tamper with tax plans, and instead conducts a thorough review of existing systems to lay the foundation for long-term planning.

Advertisement

4.  A holistic and prioritised approach to public sector funding

Government should adopt a holistic outlook when considering funding for public services.

A cross-governmental system would promote greater collaboration, reduce doubling of efforts, and ensure the best funding is in the right area to make sure people receive the public services needed. Equally, stability is important and a long-term funding framework in place would most likely deliver greater value for taxpayers.

The public sector landscape is ever-changing and while the government’s position on regional control over public services finances is commendable, more needs to be done to make this a reality. This would give local public sector bodies more control over budget allocation. Vast improvement is also needed to bring the public sector into the digital age and to run public services more effectively, including up-skilling staff to adopt change.

5.  Avoid overly prescriptive solutions to corporate governance concerns

Government needs to support voluntary measures to improve the culture of corporate governance in the work place. ACCA advises against unnecessary additional regulation, for both listed and privately-held companies, warning that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work and that positive reinforcement of culture-led solutions will be more effective.

To improve current guidance on corporate governance, we need to look at how corporate leadership can involve and engage its stakeholders effectively, from employees to shareholders. Bottom-up solutions that obtain the buy-in of employees, for example, are becoming as important as top-down solutions and shareholder engagement. 

The government must also be mindful of pay trends for UK companies, which could intensify due to global economic uncertainty on issues such as Brexit, which increases competition for talent.

ACCA support measures to increase the transparency of company pay policies through a voluntary approach. This enables companies to demonstrate their commitment to accountability and facilitates their engagement with relevant stakeholders.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page