A Global Thought Leader

By Anton Colella

30 January 2014

ICAS CEO Anton Colella shares his vision for the Institute as it celebrates 160 years

Thought leadership is at the core of what ICAS does. Ever since Lord Palmerston, the Home Secretary, signed the Royal Warrant which started our journey 160 years ago, we've been in the vanguard of intellectual challenge in the accounting world.

In 1988, we published 'Making Corporate Reports Valuable' authored by one David Tweedie.

In 2006, 'Principles not Rules – A Question of Judgement', chaired by Hugh Shields, made the headlines and is still much referred to in the profession around the world.

More recently we made impact with our report entitled 'Losing the Excess Baggage'.  This focused on the principles of disclosure and how disclosure requirements and practice might be rationalised.  The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has now taken this topic on to its agenda.

Our radical and progressive approach can also be found in our 'Balanced and Reasonable' discussion paper in 2013, which explored how auditors can provide greater assurance in corporate reporting.

In 2009, we published ethical case studies 'Shades of Grey' long before an infamous novel of a similar title caused a very different flurry of attention!

Now we aim to take thought leadership onto a new level. Our long term aspirational goal is to become a global leader in the application of business ethics.

We recognise that we need an 'army' to achieve this. We have that army in our own membership – an army which already has a trusted reputation worldwide.

Therefore, in the first instance, we will focus our attention on encouraging ethical behaviour within our own membership, including stressing the importance of ethical behaviour to our students.

One eminent past-President, contemplating the history of our thought leadership, concluded "Not bad for a wee Institute".

I know there is great work to come. Watch this space.


  • Development of the profession

Previous Page