ICAS call for literature review: the accountancy profession of the future
ICAS is embarking on a project on the shape of the accountancy profession of the future, and calls for a literature review to inform this.
Focusing on the public good, we are considering how the accountants of the future may best serve the needs of society as well as all sectors of the economy, and how we and other accountancy and professional bodies can best guide and support them in doing so. This will consider both how the accountants of tomorrow will deliver services and activities, but also crucially what these services and activities ought to be to deliver value, usefulness and insight to the benefits of society. To serve the public interest effectively requires us to cultivate the confidence and trust of the public in the profession and to make sure that we deliver the services and activities that society expects.
The aim of this commissioned literature review is to identify, consider and evaluate the existing literature as evidence in informing the development of thought leadership on the role and responsibilities of the accountancy profession of the future. The findings will serve to inform subsequent activity on the topic at ICAS. The literature review will bring together relevant quality and contemporaneous academic and professional literature, with a particular interest in, but not limited to:
- What society needs from accountants.
- Ethical leadership / upholding ethics.
- Sustainability - in its widest sense to include environment, society and governance factors - and the role of the accountant.
- The meaning of ‘profession/professional’.
- Social mobility / access to the accountancy profession and its attractiveness.
- Future regulatory models.
- The skillset of accountants, such as technical/business, technology / AI, sustainability etc., and how to acquire it.
- The use of financial and non-financial information and reporting in decision-making, accountability to stakeholders and corporate responsibility.
Description and scope of the literature review
The review should be written as an accessible document that summarises the existing literature on current research and thinking on the future of the accountancy profession, highlight any gaps in the existing knowledge base and identify opportunities for further research.
To ensure a complete appreciation of developments affecting current or proposed practice, the review should cover high quality outputs and research from the major international markets and jurisdictions, in the last five years, engaging with both academic and practitioner literature such as thought leadership, guidance, consultations etc, and at a minimum include all of the themes of particular interest highlighted above. The review should also include sufficient diversity in both the academic and non-academic outputs. The successful applicant(s) will demonstrate how access to the relevant literature can be assured.
The review should distinguish between the different types of literature reviewed, academic vs. practitioner and, for example, that which is based on empirical versus theoretical approaches and thought leadership.
The results should reflect in-depth analysis across and within studies, the discussion/conclusions should reflect a synthesis of the included studies, and a clear indication of which studies are most methodologically robust should be included.
The ICAS Research Centre believes that scoping or systematic (meta-synthesis) literature reviews will be most appropriate for this funding opportunity but welcomes well-argued applications for other approaches.
Terms of agreement
A final draft of the literature review must be delivered to ICAS by 15 October 2023, although an earlier date is preferred, and authors will be required to make short presentations of key findings to the ICAS project Steering Group and the Research Panel. A presentation of findings at ICAS sponsored events may also be required. The report should be approximately 10,000 words in length. Departure from this guideline, if necessary, may be discussed with ICAS.
Grant funding of up to a maximum of £15,000 is available to undertake this review, which may be payable as a fee to an individual, a business or a university.
It should be noted that more opportunities may be available on this project, including the potential for further research and/or workshops facilitation.
- Commencement of literature review: 1 July 2023
- Final draft report to the ICAS Head of Research: 15 October 2023, although an earlier delivery date is preferred.
Given the objectives of this project, it will be critical for any proposal, and execution thereof, to adhere to the above timelines. ICAS will be pro-active in monitoring progress.
Expressions of interest
If you are interested in undertaking the review, please email email@example.com attaching a call for research application form (available below) and a proposal, together with summary CVs by 12 noon (GMT) 31 May 2023.
Your application should:
- explain why you believe you or your team are suitable to undertake the review;
- demonstrate your knowledge and experience in the area;
- state how any team will be structured and how any translation issues will be addressed, and responsibilities for completion of the report;
- outline the process for a comprehensive search of extant literature, information about the inclusion and exclusion criteria to be applied, and how the studies are proposed to be appraised and judged;
- include a preliminary list of references, together with a summary of key issues that you believe are likely to arise from the review.
Finally, the proposal is required to detail the amount of grant, in sterling, which you require to complete the review, imperatively with a breakdown of the estimated costs.
The applications will be considered by a panel of academics and non-academics from ICAS to arrive at a final decision. Applicants will be advised of the decision by 15 June 2023.
For further information about this funding opportunity or any queries please contact the ICAS Research Centre: firstname.lastname@example.org