31 Oct 2014 09:04am

Michael Izza: The accountancy Olympics

It is likely when you come to read this article that I will be in Italy at a number of events, including an International Federation of Accountants’ council meeting, in the run-up to the World Congress of Accountants in Rome

This conference, which takes place under IFAC’s auspices every four years, is known affectionately as the “accountancy Olympics”, not least because of the logistics of staging a four-day conference with well over 4,000 accountants from more than 130 countries.

Putting our global vision into practice at the accountancy Olympics

You could be forgiven for wondering – if you have heard of WCOA, which I suspect many of you won’t have – why ICAEW is planning on a significant presence there. The answer is that it is a unique opportunity to meet accountants from all over the world and to promote the work we do as an institute, whether it be the quality of our education and training, our technical expertise, our thought leadership or the capacity-building projects we have been undertaking with the World Bank in eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

To this end, we will be hosting a number of events. One is a get together with other IFAC member bodies that are interested in capacity building to discuss the benefits of having strong professional bodies and how to go about getting donor funding.

The global economy needs local economies to be strong and they in turn need a strong local accountancy profession to develop and support the right financial infrastructure.

The professions in Malawi, Tanzania and Ghana will be sharing their thoughts on the experience of working with us to build capacity in their countries.

Another event is a meeting with our “chartered family” to talk about Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW), the network of leading institutes of chartered accountants. At the moment, CAW membership comprises ICAEW, the Scottish, Irish and South African institutes and the merged institutes of Australian and New Zealand chartered accountants. But there are a large number of other chartered accountancy bodies in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and we want to work together to support, develop and promote the chartered accountancy qualification and the vital work chartered accountants do to support the global economy.

It will be a busy week but it will be worth it. We will be taking advantage of the fact that WCOA attracts more than 160 accountancy bodies to the same place at the same time to ensure that we strengthen our relationships with the global profession. In line with the WCOA theme this year, we will be “learning from the past” and “building the future”.



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