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As economies digitize, organizations of all sizes across sectors face enormous disruption and opportunity. Professional accountants must expand their approach to include both structured and unstructured datasets to support organizations in making insight-driven decisions. The Professional Accountant’s Role in Data, a joint report released by IFAC and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), outlines a data management value chain and explores four key roles professional accountants can occupy within it: Data Engineer, Data Controller, Data Scientist, and Strategic Advisor.

Organizations are facing chronic skills shortages in these areas, and professional accountants have the opportunity to fill these roles. The report includes case studies highlighting how professional accountants in different roles, such as the CFO, can broaden their roles in driving data-driven decisions.