In today’s marketplace, business leaders are sometimes so absorbed in managing day-to-day operations that they seldom have the opportunity to visualise emerging trends in their field which would potentially allow them to enhance their market potential and create additional value which could drive future success.

Whether its constantly evolving customer preferences, competition from market disruptors, rapid technological changes, inflationary pressures or new international markets – the only constant is change.

These and other emerging trends in business provide significant new opportunities for governments, firms and individuals who effectively embrace them—but the downside for those who are unable to keep up has also increased dramatically. Figuring out how to navigate these skewed times may take some radical rethinking for business leaders, policymakers, and individuals.

All this means that business as usual is not an option. Moreover, success in enterprise is being defined as reaching beyond the realm of profit and stakeholder return. Firms – as well as shareholders, investors and employees, are seeking purpose. They want to create an additional value which extends beyond monetary term.

To get a better picture of how value is created, more data and knowledge – and the ability to interpret it, is needed. In this context, accountants in business are rightly positioned to take the necessary timely actions so that organisations remain on top of the various internal and external factors that influence business.

There are a number of areas where accountancy professionals can take a leading role in embracing these emerging trends.

One of them is access to finance. According to a Central Bank of Malta study, Maltese businesses continued, despite stricter conditions resulting from developing legislation and regulation to prefer bank-related products such as overdrafts and credit lines, and to a lesser extent, bank loans over market-based products and other sources of finance.  While almost 80% do so in Malta, by comparison, in the European Union, just below half of SMEs used bank loans and credit lines, bank overdrafts or credit cards, or expected to use them in the future. European firms are more likely to consider venture capital, partner financing, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding as an alternative source of financing. There is therefore, a great deal of untapped potential that requires consideration in this sphere.

Another element where accountancy professionals are expected to play a wider role relates to ESG implementation. Accountants’ skills, such as ensuring data integrity, analysing why things have changed, and anticipating how things might change in the future, are all important in ESG investment. Climate change and ESG represent a significant element impacting the long-term viability of businesses, as well as to people’s and the planet’s well-being. Simultaneously, this is a chance for accountants to improve their skills and become more robust, adaptable, and future-ready in the face of future crises and unforeseen events.

The Malta Institute of Accountants proactively supports its members in riding the waves of change and in acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to transform opportunities into success. Experts from the world of corporate finance, digital industries, ESG and credit management among others will be getting together in a one-day conference hosted by the Institute supporting its members working in industry to identify ways of creating value from emerging trends in business, securing growth and success for the years ahead.

The Malta Institute of Accountants’ PAIB Conference – Creating Value from Emerging Trends in Business will be held on 25th May 2022 at the Radisson Blu Resort. Further information and registration details are available through this link.

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