How accounting professionals can encourage diversity

October 8th 2021 | Posted by Dave Cross

Diversity and equality are more than ever prevalent considerations in wider society and within the business community. So, organisations that want to be successful must embrace diversity as an integral part of their strategy and planning.

Accountants have an important role to play in this by ensuring that decisions made by senior leaders are free from discrimination. There are several areas where this involvement of accounting professionals comes to the fore.

Dealing with different items of data

The accounting role has traditionally been concerned with recording and monitoring the finances of the organisation and providing advice accordingly. This role has developed to include the recording of data that relates to the diversity of the organisation.

Measuring human capital is complex but it’s a necessary tool for any organisation that is committed to displaying a diversity centric approach to its activities. Displaying this type of approach is essential for any business that wants to grow its customer base and/or attract reputable investors.

The importance of capturing data in this area is only going to increase. So forward thinking accounting professionals ensure that the organisation reports on factors such as representation, progression, and talent management. The broader the range of data, the more holistic the overall view and resulting planning can be.

Collaborating with other areas of the business

Although concerns such as diversity and inclusion have traditionally been the responsibility of the HR department of an organisation, there is now more focus on other areas of the business becoming involved.

This means that accounting professionals are working with other functions of the business to ensure that the overall diversity performance of the organisation is optimised. This collaboration means that the measuring of diversity performance can feed directly into actions taken to secure improvements.

Understanding human capital and culture

Investors are now more concerned about the diversity and inclusion within a business. So, organisations have to be sure to embrace improvements in these areas if they want to secure the investment required to thrive and grow.

As a result, human capital and culture are now regarded as a tangible asset of a business. This is a significant change for organisations where social issues have always been important, but their measurement has been sketchy at best.

Accountants have a central role to play in measuring and reporting on human capital related matters. This in turn means that they are valuable in ensuring a good balance of gender and racial equity in an organisation thereby assisting in the reduction of risk.

It’s clear that accounting professionals can play a pivotal role in encouraging diversity in an organisation. By developing means of measuring and reporting on human equity data they can inform the strategy and planning of the business and reduce risk. They are also able to have a direct impact on implementation of diversity friendly measures by working in collaboration with other areas of the business such as the HR function.

If you are an accountancy professional looking for your next role, register with us. If you are on looking to hire an accountancy professional, get in touch.