Experts gathered in Shanghai for a high-level conference about key issues linked to BRI and global accounting infrastructure.

With the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) firmly established, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and SNAI (Shanghai National Accounting Institute) have hosted its third BRI Forum, this year titled Technology Development and Accounting Infrastructure.

Speakers from government, international organisations, and leading companies involved in BRI were on stage to examine a wide range of issues linked to this initiative, including the links between global infrastructure and technology, including big data, cloud computing, AI, blockchain and 5G and how these are already impacting the accountancy profession.

Speaking about the event, Helen Brand Chief Executive of ACCA said: ‘What was clear from this third forum is that technology brings challenges as well as opportunities for the countries along the Belt & Road, a route that is so very dependent on physical, digital and technological connections.

These are already having a lasting impact on the accountancy profession, which has a powerful part to play as a super connector to help BRI and global trade succeed in the short and long-term.’

Prof Li Kouqing, President of SNAI added: ‘This third forum was insightful and ambitious, covering very relevant issues about technology, infrastructure, and the profession’s future.

I was impressed with the forum’s discussions and focus on accounting talent and training, as without skilled and talented finance professionals, infrastructure falters. BRI depends a great deal not just on digital connectivity, but also on the connections finance professionals forge together, sharing their expertise and wisdom.’

During the forum, ACCA and SNAI also published a third joint report on BRI – Belt and Road Central Asia accounting infrastructure. This report explores the accounting infrastructure across Central Asia, as a region that is key to BRI’s success, providing invaluable data and insight into opportunities and challenges around standards, systems, and talent.

The event was held as part of ACCA’s Power of Connections project, which aims to showcase how the global profession can assist global connectivity, helping economies to grow and thrive.

Today, ACCA operates through a network of 11 offices across Greater China, serving 26,000 members and 133,000 students and the many partners and other stakeholders who support them. Globally, its 219,000 members and 527,000 students live and work in 179 countries, and ACCA has some 23 offices along the Belt and Road route.

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 527,000 students (including affiliates) in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 110 offices and centres and 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide, and 328 approved learning providers who provide high standards of learning and development.

Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability.

About SNAI

Under the strong support of former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, the Shanghai National Accounting Institute (SNAI) was established in September 2000 as a public service institution affiliated to the Ministry of Finance of China (MOF).

The Institution is subject to the dual leadership of MOF and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and its operation is managed by the President under the supervision of the Board of Directors. Meanwhile, SNAI also hosts the Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Center (AFDC) created by the Chinese Central Government for region-wide capacity building under the APEC framework.

In the past 10-plus years, SNAI has sought to find pedagogy proper for senior financial and accounting professionals, cultivate high-end talent for the accounting industry and provide advanced continuing education for macroeconomic regulators, large-and-medium-sized SOEs, financial institutions and intermediaries.

Today, SNAI has created its own unique teaching philosophy and methods underpinned by the three pillars of degree education, executive development program and distance education. Over the years, SNAI has gradually established its reputation and become a spiritual home for accounting practitioners.