Sandy Manson CA: this is a transformational time

Sandy Manson July President's column
By CA Magazine

4 July 2018

When I was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Johnston Carmichael 11 years ago, and having spent my professional life engaged in client service, I frankly didn’t appreciate what being a CEO really entailed or how stimulating and interesting a job it would turn out to be.

I can safely say the same is true of being President of ICAS!

It has been tremendously uplifting to meet CAs of all ages, and all engaged in a wide variety of roles in business and society.

I firmly believe our membership comprises one of the most able and talented groups of professionals in the world, and I say that fully appreciating that objectivity is one of our guiding principles.

This is the era of disruption and, while many opportunities come from such change, our profession is equally facing a number of significant challenges.
- Sandy Manson CA 

What particularly struck me, when we were recruiting our new CEO, was just how many of the candidates cited the opportunity to work with CAs as the very reason they wanted the job.

This is the era of disruption and, while many opportunities come from such change, our profession is equally facing a number of significant challenges. We know we cannot afford to rest on any laurels; we have to ensure that we keep changing and evolving.

It is against this backdrop that the ICAS Council came together in a conference room on the banks of the Thames to consider how the Institute itself should evolve.

We had an extremely productive and energising series of conversations but we were also very open and honest about what we need to do better. It was a great example of the power to be gained from holding challenging conversations, in a positive tone and a collaborative spirit.

Typically, as leaders we spend most of our time working in the business and not enough time working on the business and so, with Bruce Cartwright on board as our highly impressive new CEO and our Council ranks bolstered with a number of new and very able members, this was an important time to work together on our plans.

Focus on educational offering and delivering value to members

We are paying particular focus on the two areas we see as priorities for ICAS.

Firstly, we need to be clear about the future of our educational offering and how we should take the CA qualification forward, not only to keep it relevant but also to ensure we retain the highest standards.

Secondly, we want to improve the value we deliver to our members in their lifelong journey with ICAS. I strongly believe that one of the key roles of ICAS is to help our members succeed – by providing them with a world-class professional qualification and helping them during their professional lives.

The message is clear. We cannot and will not stand still in responding to the changing needs of our profession.
- Sandy Manson

The end result of our lively deliberations will be a refreshed strategy and delivery plan for ICAS, and Bruce and his executive team now have a clear mandate from Council to progress with the dynamic change we believe is required.

This will involve some bold decisions and investment but always with a keen eye on balancing this with the risks involved. Bruce will share these plans with you over the coming months.

The message is clear. We cannot and will not stand still in responding to the changing needs of our members, our profession, and our regulators.

We will also look at our own internal arrangements and consider how our governance should improve to become more agile, so that it supports and enables – and doesn’t constrain.

Salvador Dali said: “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”

Indeed, we are not seeking to achieve perfection, but we are united as the leaders of ICAS that, in these transformational times, we need to make considerable progress in the evolution of your Institute to make it of significant relevance and value to you in the future.

Topics

  • CA Magazine
  • Development of the profession

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