"But we have been so engrossed and embedded in those aspects we have forgotten that we have a wider role."
The farther of modern accounting Luca Pacioli, a Franciscan priest and mathematician, with Italian inventor and painter Leonardo da Vinci, laid the foundation for double-entry book keeping in the late 14th century.
Joachim, the first non-British and Irish national to become president of CIMA, said corporate collapses cannot happen overnight and came after long periods of poor performance.
He said finance professionals should not limit themselves to finance functions and should ideally have hands on experience of the business to make the right decisions.
"They must be more proactive, more influential and therefore more strategic," Joachim said.
"Very few finance professionals seem to be able to make that shift. How many of you have hard hats and safety shoes (in your office)?"Joachim was speaking on 'The emergence of finance as a key to business transformation in light of the global downturn' at the LBR-LBO CFO forum held recently for a large group of senior corporate executives at the Ceylon Continental Hotel, Colombo.
Finance professionals failed to influence, challenge and direct their organizations during the global financial meltdown, Joachim said.
"I often think to do this requires a huge amount of confidence, a huge knowledge about the organization, what's driving the organization and that is sadly what finance professionals are lacking," Joachim said.
"This is where at your level you should be training your people."
Joachim, a finance professional with over 30 years of experience, said most of the corporate collapses could have been avoided if the finance division had 'cried wolf'.
Enron, WorldCom, Satyam and Sri Lanka's very own Pramuka Bank are examples of corporate crime where companies keep large losses off the books and show profits.
Staying silent in a bad situation leads to write-offs in millions and trigger corporate collapses when the secret is out, he said.
"It is not so much what finance professionals did do, in fact it is what they did not do and that's a fact," Joachim said.
"Very few of them cried foul, a very few of them stood up and put up their hands."