Opinion
Paul Aplin 4 Sep 2018 12:54pm

Accessing accountancy globally

Helping young people break into accountancy does not just happen in the UK, explains ICAEW president Paul Aplin, but all around the world

When I was deciding which issues to focus on during my time as president, there was one that stood out for me, both personally and professionally: improving access to our profession. While you may well be aware of the work we are doing in the UK on the social mobility front to promote chartered accountancy as a challenging and rewarding career for bright and talented young people from all walks of life, you may not know we are pursuing a similar campaign – through the ICAEW Foundation – to improve access globally.

As a global institute with more than 150,000 members in 153 countries, our vision is to help build a world of strong economies. From the capacity building work we have carried out in Africa, Asia and Europe over the past 20 years, we know that a strong economy cannot exist without being underpinned and driven by a strong accountancy profession; one that is outward-looking, forward thinking and committed to high standards of professionalism and ethics.

The Foundation reaches out globally to those who have the talent, ambition and drive to study accountancy and finance or to train for an accountancy qualification, but who lack the financial capacity to do so.

Take Khadijah Iddris from Ghana who was working on a building site, but dreaming of a different future when the Foundation found her. With the bursary it gave her, she was able to eat healthy food, pay for the medicines she needed, go to university and buy all the course materials she required. She was also able to move closer to the campus, saving herself the 15km walk each way every day.

She is now the proud possessor of a degree in accountancy and is keen to encourage the Foundation to keep up the good work because, as she says, “the future is education”. We chartered accountants are doers, not dreamers. Those who donated to the Foundation changed Khadijah’s life and took her from working on a building site to the start of a professional career. Who knows where that career will take her? Wherever it is though, she will always be an ambassador for the Foundation and you can learn more about her story at icaewfoundation.com. The short video you will find there is compelling, moving and uplifting: I would encourage you to view it.

If, like me, you believe that poverty should never be a barrier to achievement, that we have a role to play in building a world of strong economies and that our profession can change lives, would you, or your firm, consider helping the Foundation? Khadijah’s story proves that we can and do make a real difference, and that we can and do change lives. Let’s work together to change some more.

Events

11 September
Board readiness for directors

This one-day course has been designed for senior finance or non-finance executives and newlyappointed board directors. It focuses on personal performance and uses ICAEW’s film False Assurance to teach the reality of operating at board level. London

12 September
Cybercrime and fraud


A lunchtime workshop designed to help boards and business owners protect their businesses against the threat of cybercrime and banking fraud. There will be an opportunity to discuss and ask questions. Bolton

13 September
Beyond bitcoin


Hailed as a potential “second generation of the internet”, blockchain will fundamentally change the way we do business. This briefing will provide insight into the advent of blockchain, its applications, and the key issues it presents to the financial sector. Manchester

14, 28 September
Business member roundtables


This series of discussion meetings provide members working in industry/public/charity and not-forprofit sectors the opportunity to discuss topical issues in an informal but confidential environment with other local ICAEW members. Bournemouth, Taunton There are six other roundtables scheduled to take place in October and November: Plymouth, Exeter, Cornwall, Cheltenham, Bath, and Bournemouth

27 September
ICAEW/ CABA mindfulness for busy people


Learn how mindfulness can help you to feel calmer, more productive and in control. This workshop will introduce short mindfulness tools and techniques designed for busy professionals. Birmingham

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