In my first From the Top column as your incoming president last year, I talked about ICAEW’s new strategic vision of “a world of strong economies” and how we intended to help realise it by focusing on three key interrelated areas – the future professional, connected communities and the agile Institute. Since then time has flown and now as I prepare to hand over the badge of office to my successor and reflect on my year, I can report that we have made enormous strides towards achieving our ambition – although there is still some way to go.
On the future professional front, we are evolving the key elements of our qualification – our syllabus, professional skills development and student support – to ensure that our members are being trained and tested to stay ahead of the game.
So we have completed our project to introduce technology throughout all our exam papers, rather than having a separate technology paper, to reflect the working environment. Of course, the future professional theme is also about our ability to continue attracting the brightest and the best young people into our profession and so we have done much to encourage younger members to become actively involved in the governance of the Institute and the promotion of the profession. We have established a system of diversity champions regionally, all young people from diverse backgrounds, to promote the advantages of a career in chartered accountancy in their communities.
Talking of communities, as you know, I am a passionate equality, diversity and inclusion campaigner and I am especially proud that last month we launched our new online diversity community, which is open to members and non-members alike and aims to provide a range of support to both individuals and firms. As a tax practitioner, I have also enjoyed connecting with the community of like-minded professionals, including the CIoT, of which I am also a member.
Over the past year we have led on a project to digitise the Professional Conduct in Relation to Tax (PCRT) code, turning what was a 58-page, complex document into a 10-page code that is much easier to understand, supported by help sheets that we can update when necessary. And during my year I have travelled extensively – including flying some 150,000 air miles – to connect with as many members as possible, both in the UK and overseas. We are fast becoming a global institute, with an overseas membership of 20% and growing, and it’s important to make sure that people feel part of our community, wherever they are, and for us to understand what motivates them and how proud they are of the ICAEW qualification.
It really has been an honour and a privilege to represent this fantastic institute both in the UK and overseas, and to play my part in building our world of strong economies. Thank you.
12 JUNE WHEN AUDITS GO WRONG… AND RIGHT!
On the grounds that more often than not audit disasters result from a lack of professional scepticism, this webinar aims to teach how to get scepticism right with the aid of practical examples.
26 JUNE RESTRUCTURING AND INSOLVENCY CONFERENCE 2018
Now in its eighth year, this day-long conference takes as its theme Digitalisation and How it is Affecting the Profession. Keynote speakers include Brompton Bicycle managing director Will Butler-Adams and Charlie McMurdie, former head of Scotland Yard’s economic and cyber crime unit. Presentations include CVAs, GDPR and an economic analysis of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. London
28 JUNE PITCH TO WIN
Many organisations base much of their selection of professional services firms on their pitching performance in front of a panel. This one-day course is designed to help finance professionals deliver key sales messages, taking into account correct pricing methods, service delivery and market positioning. London
29 JUNE CHARITY CONFERENCE 2018
This annual conference is designed to provide accounting, governance and tax updates for auditors, examiners, trustees, finance directors, managers and CEOs working in the charity and not-for-profit sector. There are three streams to choose from – technical, governance and operations. Charity Commission CEO Helen Stephenson will give the closing speech. London
10 JULY WOMEN IN EU FINANCE
This is an inaugural breakfast event to launch Women in EU Finance, a light-touch platform to discuss trends and regulatory developments that encourage greater gender representation and awareness in financial policy. Brussels