Advisory and consultancy
The transformation driver
This is a cross-cutting senior role that oversees a team responsible for driving the adoption of emerging technologies. The role is not technology specific and cuts across a range of areas such as the development of tools for delivering audits, integration into cloud platforms, adoption of data analytics, and visualisation and robotics tools, as well as incorporating technologies such as artificial intelligence (machine learning and natural language processing) and blockchain as they scale up.
Digital transformation leads need to be continuously scanning an evolving landscape: implementing a framework for opportunity identification to prioritise areas for transformation; managing staff for continuous scanning of latest technology developments and assessing relevance to the firm’s needs.
As this is a leadership role, they will have responsibility for winning sponsorship for projects, involving presenting to strategic investment forums, guiding proposals for projects with associated prioritisation for funding, undertaking detailed business case and ROI analysis, and agreeing critical success factors and parameters for funding. The digital transformation lead would act as a bridge between IT and finance, effectively translating between the needs of accountants and the language of product functionality and design choice. They will embrace change, adopting a practical problem-solving approach that can find a pathway from the current to target state.
Responsibilities will vary, but examples include:
It is a role with executive-level support, and directly contributes to the future strategic direction of the organisation.
A digital transformation lead requires in-depth understanding of process, workflows and technologies associated with an area pertinent to accountancy and finance professionals, such as audit and assurance, taxation, reporting, risk management, and/or cybersecurity, typically gained originally through their ACCA Qualification and subsequent CPD.
They need a blend of professional expertise with product expertise to communicate with business and technology personnel. Additionally, a product management qualification covering end-to-end product development is advantageous (such as certified product manager).
The digital transformation lead must possess a strategic mindset and be able to think conceptually about future design options and their implications, as well as be passionate about emerging technologies. Exceptional stakeholder-management skills are required to ensure effective coordination across multiple stakeholder groups with competing priorities.
The lead must have a persuasive, clear and consistent communication style to build trust and obtain buy-in through the change and be able to respond to changes in direction or requirements in a fast-paced environment.
Opportunities in Fintech
Learn more about the transformative field of Fintech and what opportunities there are for finance professionals in ACCA's latest research.