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Finance in a Digital World

Vicky Andrew, immediate past President of LSCA and a member of LSCA’s Business Board, highlights the ICAEW’s online course, as part of this month’s Fintech theme.

October 2021Vicky Andrew

Finance in a Digital World is a suite of online learning modules developed by ICAEW in partnership with Deloitte, with the aim of helping people develop awareness and build understanding of digital technologies and their impact on finance. The flexible eLearning is free to access for ICAEW members and students.

The course is primarily aimed at accountants working in larger businesses which can benefit from disrupter technologies, particularly those individuals who are in a position to influence decisions about whether to adopt them. It’s also useful for accountants in practice who have such businesses as clients.

I wrote about this course for London Accountant in October 2020, and this month seemed like a good time to revisit it, given the current Fintech theme.

Why do this course?

As well as gaining knowledge to assist you with your work, and becoming better informed about what’s out there, you will also enhance your CV (CPD certificates are issued on completion of most of the modules).

I decided to undertake the course myself for two reasons:

  • I felt that I should have some first-hand experience, given that I am encouraging others to do the course. Moreover, my various volunteering roles within the profession require me to keep abreast of what is happening generally.
  • The course can help increase awareness and understanding of advances in technology affecting finance, even if you are not working in an area impacted by these technologies. Whilst the content may be more relevant for larger organisations, it also encourages micro-businesses to consider the area and make sure they’re not misunderstanding ‘digital’ or missing a trick. Adverse news stories about (for example) cryptocurrency hacks could easily make people wary of all things ‘digital’ or ‘blockchain’ and that would be unfair. So, a little bit of knowledge is better than none at all.

I also talked to other participants about their experience of doing the course, and have incorporated their comments into this article.

Each module of the course should take between one and two-and-a-half hours, depending on how much you need to go over things. My experience has taught me that rather than having a rough schedule in my head, it needs to be entered in my diary.

There are 9 modules in total:

  • Digital Transformation: Introductory
  • Disrupters: Robotic Process Automation
  • Disrupters: AI and Cognitive Computing
  • Disrupters: Blockchain
  • Disrupters: Analytics and Visualisation
  • The Future of Finance Work
  • Digital’s Impact on Workers
  • Finance Workplace
  • Embracing Digital sets out a 3-step approach to exploring and implementing digital opportunities in your organisation.

Modules 2-5 take the same approach to each disrupter, looking at what it is, how it can be applied and the benefits it brings. Each module also considers the barriers to adopting each disrupter and how these can be overcome.

One thing that has struck me about this course is the variety of methods of delivery. You don’t get a chance to get bored! The material is presented by the following methods:

  • On screen – words; graphics
  • Videos – real life; graphics
  • Documents to read
  • Podcasts
  • Questionnaires – self assessment (before and after)
  • Questionnaires – to check understanding
  • Case Studies

This did give me cause to reflect on different learning styles, and my own in particular. I guess it’s about each participant finding out what works for them.

The self-assessment questionnaires at the beginning and end of each module enable you to score your level of knowledge and understanding, on a scale from 1-5. I have tended to start off at 1 on all of them, and finished at around 3. This is in line with the aim of the course; it doesn’t purport to make people experts.

If this has piqued your interest and you would like to find out more, check out the following links:

To view the finance in a Digital World trailerclick on “view trailer.” Then why not do the first module and see how you get on?

As well as access to the course, there are additional resources for Data Analytics (an area we have all become more familiar with since the pandemic, with Big Data and data visualisation).

London Accountant

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