• Register
Return to: Home > News > ACCA: Public sector accountants more likely from disadvantaged backgrounds

ACCA: Public sector accountants more likely from disadvantaged backgrounds

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has found public sector accountants are more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds than their private sector peers.

ACCA’s Purpose and the Profession: Social Mobility and the Public Sector report found accountants working in the public sector were more likely to come from backgrounds where their parents had lower educational attainment and did not work as professionals or managers.

Head of ACCA’s public sector policy Alex Metcalfe said: “These results suggest that, globally, the public sector finance function is providing a more effective route into the profession for those from comparatively lower socio-economic backgrounds.

“This could be the result of better diversity and open access initiatives in the public sector or it could be led by an organisational culture that is more aware of biases, where some of these issues are overcome through additional processes such as name-blind application assessment.”

ACCA’s research showed that certain individuals benefited from an ‘entrenched advantage’ from early childhood through to school years which enabled them to present themselves as more work-ready than their peers.

In response to the ‘entrenched advantage’ some public sector employers have taken action to remedy this by offering guaranteed interviews to applicants from disadvantaged groups and by selecting candidates from more diverse backgrounds for hiring or promotion.

The report also found that two thirds of ACCA students and members in the public sector started their qualification when they were 26 or older compared to respondents in non-public sectors which were more likely to begin between 18 and 22.

ACCA vice president Mark Miller said: “My own observation is that many who join the public sector do so with a sense of service for their community and in many cases it is not until they have been there some years that they see the possibilities for advancement that come with a professional qualification.

Top Content

    Addressing tax challenges and the digitisation of the economy

    As the economy becomes even more globalised through digital sources, the tax systems currently in place need to be scrutinised to examine whether they are still fit for current and emerging business models. Joe Pickard reports on the OECD’s approach to this issue.

    read more

    Primary financial statements: a game changer in reporting?

    International Accounting Standards Board chair Hans Hoogervorst delivered a speech at the Seminario International sobre NIIF y NIF, organised by the Consejo Mexicano de Normas de Información Financiera in Mexico. The Accountant presents the highlights.

    read more

    FASB readies standards for the netflix generation

    The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has updated its accounting standard for entertainment, with a specific eye on keeping up to date with how episodic content, such as television programmes, is consumed in the modern world. Jonathan Minter reports.

    read more

    Brexit: why it takes two to tango

    Former TA editor Vincent Huck, now editor of Insurance Asset Risk, looks at why Brexit might unleash geopolitical intrigue in Europe’s accounting standard-setting scene – and why IFRS 17 will be an incredible source of opportunity for firms in the coming years.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.