P&A Grant Thornton seeks to make a mark in edtech


GOING beyond its traditional role as a number cruncher, P&A Grant Thornton is making a bid to be an education technology (edtech) powerhouse in Asia.

“P&A Grant Thornton is well positioned to be a powerhouse and leader in the digital learning and development space in the region because of our digital strategy and learning and development model,” Jess Obana, senior managing consultant of the Advisory Services Division of P&A Grant Thornton, said.

“We expect to extend this capability and expertise to the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] region, where Grant Thornton International member firms are seeking our experience and expertise in learning and development to develop their people,” Obana added. P&A is the Philippine member firm within Grant Thornton, which has a global network of member firms across 130 countries.

To drive its ambition, P&A last year created GT Academy X as a digital learning and development initiative so it can help companies and educational institutions train their people to hone the skills needed in edtech. P&A also recently tied up with ExP, an online learning provider from the United Kingdom, to enable GT Academy X to provide online and blended learning to professional and corporate learners, not only in the Philippines, but also in the ASEAN region.

“Our vision is to help organizations create powerful learning cultures through technology integration, collaboration, and innovation. Not only are we providing the enabling technology but also empowering leaders and educators in teaching and learning by maximizing the use of these technologies,” said Obana, who has been an educator for more than a decade and was involved in many edtech projects in China, the Middle East, and other parts of the world before leading GT Academy X.

While edtech was thrust into the spotlight only during the COVID-19 pandemic as many schools and companies switched to remote or online learning platforms, Obana said GT Academy X was born to respond to the need for people to have access to learning anytime, anywhere through a digital learning platform. “Not only does it cater to the needs of our clients but of our own people as well, and the entire accounting profession, particularly for continuous learning during this difficult time when face-to-face learning is not possible,” he added.

He said the nature of P&A’s work in audit, tax, advisory, and outsourcing enables it to offer expertise and experience using innovative teaching methodology, a solid curriculum, engaging content, and innovative instruction.

“We have learned a huge amount from our work on edtech because of the varied roles P&A has played. We have worked directly in partnership with dozens of business organizations and schools to help prepare learners for 21st-century careers,” Obana said.

Among the fruits of its partnerships with global professional accountancy bodies are the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) programs which P&A brought to the Philippines. ACCA is a a professional accountancy qualification that is highly rated in the fields of finance, management and consulting.

“Our ACCA programs and certifications are gaining traction as more professionals are looking to expand their current knowledge and expertise by seeking other global qualifications. Soon, we will add another global qualification: the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants or the CIMA qualification,” Obana said.

The audit firm is also building a digital learning platform so it can provide flexible learning to its own staff and clients. It is also helping educational institutions to successfully transition to remote learning by providing edtech services that include advisory, technology infrastructure, and training.

This year, P&A expects demand for customized online learning from its clients to exponentially grow. “This will provide our firm with the opportunity to enhance our digital learning capability, infrastructure, and experience, in line with our overall digital transformation strategy. By going beyond number crunching, we add more value to our clients’ businesses and become a force for social good,” Obana said.

Image courtesy of RackerMasagca

Read full article on BusinessMirror

Leave a Reply