Jim Pettigrew: The thing that makes ICAS so special

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jim-pettigrew-thumb By Jim Pettigrew CA, ICAS President

11 December 2015

Variety is the spice of life, and it is that quality that makes the role of the Institute, its direction - and its members - so special, says Jim Pettigrew CA.

Since becoming your President a few months ago, I’ve been struck by the incredible variety of roles carried out by CAs. Going hand in hand with that is a panoply of issues that would stretch the United Nations. This brings the challenge of how we as an Institute deliver relevance and value to everyone.

In Singapore,recently, I met CAs who are among the business leaders of south-east Asia. In the Borders of Scotland and the Northern Isles, I’ve met practitioners who are the lifeblood of their business communities. In London, I chaired an ICAS lecture given by City superwoman Helena Morrissey, in which she tackled issues of gender equality in business.

I’ve been in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Aberdeen with a cornucopia of CAs of all ages and all sectors. I’ve met Indy Hothi CA a young economist at EY, who is helping humanitarian causes in disaster zones around the world.

I’ve met CAs who are young entrepreneurs and I’ve chaired a senior members’ dinner with chairs and chief executives of many of Britain’s best-known brands as guests.

I know from meeting CAs in every part of the globe how passionate so many of you are about our Institute. I also know well that, for our older generation, that connection is strong because of the heritage and history of this Institute. But for our younger generation, around the world, we must deliver value through being relevant and useful in their global, digital and diverse new world of business.

That’s why we’ve launched a daily digest of news for CAs, which we’ve branded CA Today – with different versions for members in London and Australia, to meet their thirst for knowledge.

We are also finalising plans to create a financial services community, which will serve and represent our 4,000 members in banking and finance. It will operate from London, where the vast majority of our CAs in FS live and work, but it will aim to appeal to members around the world.

We continue to work to lobby our politicians on the regulation of unqualified accountants - a matter so important to many of our small firms.

We’ve recently created a powerful forum of audit chairs to represent their views to regulators and to be a confidential place for the sharing of issues and solutions.

We continue to work to lobby our politicians on the regulation of unqualified accountants - a matter so important to many of our small firms.

Our Technical team has invested hundreds of hours of time and energy influencing on the detail of the implementation of EU audit regulations, delivering real, tangible changes for the benefit of our members.

We have surveyed our finance directors’ views on "Brexit" and tossed them into the European debate, and we’re doing more and more with the Treasury and the Select Committees at Westminster to help simplify the tax system, and to bring reason and insight into the hot debate over tax avoidance and international tax.

We have just launched an ongoing initiative to champion the application of the highest standards of business ethics: The Power of One.

We will never satisfy the complete variety of needs, neither will we solve the entire plethora of issues CAs face in their everyday working lives.

But we will never stop striving to better represent our members wherever they live and whatever they do.


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