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Finance in a Digital World

LSCA President, Vicky Andrew, outlines what she has learnt from ICAEW’s course Finance in a Digital World and encourages local members to extend their knowledge in the subject.

October 2020

Here in London, committee members are working on our draft strategy, part of which includes encouraging and supporting our members to do the ICAEW’s “Finance in a Digital World” course.

ICAEW has worked with Deloitte to develop Finance in a Digital World, a suite of online learning modules to support ICAEW members and students 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.

This 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.

More generally, and this is where I come in, it 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.

My experience of the course

I embarked on this course myself a couple of months ago; if I am encouraging other members to do it, I really need some first-hand experience. Plus, in my role as LSCA President, I need to be aware of what is happening in the profession.

The course consists of 9 modules. Each module should take between one and two-and-a-half hours, depending on how much you need to go over things.

My plan was to have completed the course before I wrote this article. I’m actually about half way through it. There is a learning point here. I had a rough schedule in my head, but because it wasn’t time-specific and written down, something else always came up!

  • Digital Era: Introductory
  • Disrupters: Robotic Process Automation
  • Disrupters: AI and Cognitive Computing
  • Disrupters: Blockchain
  • Disrupters: Advanced Analytics and Visualisation
  • Impact on Work (in the Finance team)
  • Impact on Workers (in the Finance team)
  • Impact on the Workplace (in the Finance team)
  • 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 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

However, this did give me cause to reflect on different learning styles, and my own in particular. I like to have a physical file of notes which I can go back over. Given the subject matter of the course, I really don’t think I was supposed to do that! But it’s about what works for each participant. I have been doing a lot of screen-prints!

There are questionnaires at the beginning and end of each module, where you self-assess your level of knowledge and understanding, on a scale from 1-5. So far, I have started 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.

As well as gaining knowledge to assist you with your work, and becoming better informed about what’s out there, by doing this course you will also enhance your CV (on completion of most of the modules, you will receive a CPD certificate).

Give it a go!

Follow this link and click on “watch trailer.” Then do the first module and see how you get on (on the first page it is listed as “Digital Transformation”.

I would like to hear from anyone who has done this course (or parts of it) and anyone who is thinking of doing it, so that we can develop our support network for this in London. Please get in touch. 

Over to you!

E.mail: president.london@icaew.com

London Accountant

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