Sandy Manson CA: Fly the flag for our profession
CAs help boost the economy and contribute to society. ICAS President Sandy Manson CA explains why every member should be 'Proud to be a CA'.
I was in my sixth year of school when I finally discovered accountancy and economics - subjects that I was not only really interested in, but I was actually quite good at! Then followed the University of Edinburgh. In my first lecture, the legendary Professor Tom Lee asked us to “look to our right” and then “look to our left” because “those people won’t be there next year”.
It was a startling but effective way to make the point that if we weren’t sufficiently attracted to the subject and didn’t work hard, then we should use our talents to pursue other opportunities.
One thing I believe unites us all: we are all proud to be CAs.
The most perilous stage of my voyage to entering the profession came as I studied to be a CA and sat those most testing of examinations. During the long days of studying after a hard day’s work, the words of Theodore Roosevelt came to mind: “Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain and difficulty.”
We all have our own story of how we gained this most prestigious and globally respected of professional qualifications, but one thing I believe unites us all: we are all proud to be CAs.
Our profession is under a barrage of criticism and censure from a number of quarters and, while we need to respect and deal with valid challenges, we also need to remind those voices about the positive contribution CAs make in helping build a stronger economy and a better society.
There are valid and important issues that need to be addressed but let’s not forget the huge contribution CA make.
CAs are engaged daily in benefiting society with their contribution to economic growth through leadership in the private and public sectors, their role in maintaining investor and business confidence through a trusted financial reporting regime, their support of countless charities and good causes and, importantly, their work on some of the big issues of the day, such as tackling organised crime and corruption.
Many CAs are quietly engaged in philanthropy, and ICAS is playing its part too. Although the ICAS Foundation only started five years ago, we have given more than 150 young people a life-changing opportunity to study accountancy and I encourage you to assist in any way you can.
There are valid and important issues that need to be addressed in the current debate on auditing, but let’s not forget the huge contribution CAs make to building a more prosperous, safer and fairer society.
I encourage you to use your CA designation in whatever medium your name appears - tell people what we do and why it matters.
Early in the new year, we will be launching a campaign, 'Proud to be a CA'. Through a series of inspirational videos, CAs in a diverse range of roles will explain why being a CA matters to them. I would encourage you to watch and share this content with your network and use your CA designation in whatever medium your name appears. Tell people what we do and why it matters.
The CA designation is a mark of distinctive quality and, although it wasn’t an easy passage for any of us, let our daily deeds and ethical behaviour, and our contribution to building a better society, remind the world why we wear the badge with pride and honour.