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Media comment: The coronavirus outbreak will change businesses and finance teams forever

23 March 2020

Dear editor,

We welcome the Financial Conduct Authority’s move on Saturday to ask all UK listed companies to delay the publication of preliminary financial statements due to the coronavirus outbreak. We strongly believe that in the current climate, companies need more time to assess the true impact on their business activities and operating model. 

In addition, we know that organisations and employees, including finance professionals, are facing mounting pressure to gather and deliver this information within extremely tight deadlines. At this time of heightened risk, finance professionals must use their unique set of skills and competencies, professional knowledge and experience to deliver actionable business insights.

Finance teams must move from being a technical function, focused on financial reporting and budget control, to a more encompassing commercial one working with colleagues across the business to gather information and apply the discipline of management accounting to decision-making and performance management. Now more than ever, they must become as value creators and act as guardians of the business model to help their companies navigate these unprecedented times with enhanced resilience. 

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Harding FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants