A new partnership will help improve sustainable accounting across the world

A new partnership between the world’s leading association for the accountancy profession and the world’s most prestigious university is to equip finance professionals with the tools and knowledge to make businesses more sustainable and socially responsible.

AICPA & CIMA, which together form the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford will jointly offer a new executive management certificate programme in sustainability for accounting and finance professionals.

The programme, expected to launch later this year, is meant for professionals in mid- to senior-level career roles, such as chief finance officers, board members and chief accounting officers. It will be taught online through live classes, giving participants access to faculty members with world-leading expertise in sustainability issues, and an unparalleled opportunity to develop a global network of contacts with their peers. Graduates of the programme will earn a certificate jointly signed by Oxford Saïd and AICPA & CIMA.

Soumitra Dutta, Dean of Saïd Business School, said:

‘Simply put, this exciting collaboration will help to improve the world we live in. With our School’s world-class teaching, we will equip accounting and finance professionals across the globe with the skills and knowledge they need to better focus businesses on their social and environmental impact. I cannot imagine a more important time for such a programme, as we all face the very real dangers of the growing climate crisis.”

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, AICPA & CIMA’s CEO of management accounting, said:

“As we move closer to global sustainability standards, there is high demand for accounting and finance leaders who can successfully navigate this dramatic shift to greater organisational transparency beyond traditional financial metrics. Our new programme will give key players in this transformation the skills they need to build trust with stakeholders and provide consistent, comparable information to develop strategies and shape decisions related to sustainability.” 

The programme is intended to:  

Equip aspiring professionals with subject matter expertise, insight and practical knowledge to support and lead their organisation’s response to sustainability issues

Alert employers and prospective employers that certificate holders possess a deep understanding of how sustainability issues affect their organisation’s ability to create long-term value, with relevant implications for decision-making and resource allocation

Deepen a professional accountant’s ability to apply his or her business skills to sustainability issues, which will have a profound effect on organisational business models.

Students from the programme will also benefit from joining a dynamic and impactful global alumni network – the Oxford Saïd Elumni Network – once they complete their studies. Commenting on this opportunity, Soumitra added:

“It will be a pleasure to see this community grow, as participants complete their studies and go on to form a powerful network of sustainable accounting alumni, who will continue a lifelong connection, underpinned by professional and personal development.”

AICPA & CIMA and Oxford Saïd plan to explore other joint executive management programmes relating to management accounting and the future of finance.

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