Global Accounting Alliance

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I recently had the pleasure of a meeting over good coffee (Campos) with Stephen Harrison, the CEO of the Global Accounting Alliance in Sydney. The GAA has almost 800,000 members in over 180 countries. It is made up of 11 of the world's leading accounting institutes, brought together to promote quality services, share information and collaborate on important international issues.

We had a very enjoyable discussion about the challenges before the profession, and especially in attracting and serving accounting students. We talked about some of the successes we have been having with this in the US and more notably in South Africa where the government is augmenting their accounting curricula with Color Accounting.

During our discussion, Stephen reminded me of a workshop in Sydney some years earlier in which he came along at my invitation as an observer. Time pressures meant that he could only come to the beginning and the end of the workshop. In truth, he was probably just coming along as a favour to me. Anyway, he kindly offered to recount his experiences that day for others to share.

"Some years ago I attended a presentation of Color Accounting. It was to staff of an insurance company.

They were young and old and from many parts of the company. The one common characteristic was that they knew little about accounting, and certainly could not read or understand financial statements.

The presentation lasted a day. By the end of the day most if not all present were able to read and understand the company’s financial statements. They were able to ask insightful questions.

It was a most impressive demonstration of the power of Color Accounting to make accounting understandable and dramatically improve financial literacy in a very short period of time. It was also fun for all involved!

I enjoy recounting this experience whenever relevant as I hope many, many others can benefit from this most instructive tool.
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- Mark Robilliard, Color Accounting International
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