In defence of the profession

Tax agent
By Bruce Cartwright CA, ICAS CEO

15 August 2018

In a letter to the Financial Times, ICAS CEO Bruce Cartwright CA, highlights the vital contribution that accountants make to the UK.

John Plender’s column of 7th August (Global scandals show how flabby the Big Four have become) indulges in some mud-slinging in the general direction of the accountancy profession.

He highlights the large number of accountants per capita in the UK as a negative. Yet the accountancy profession is one of UK PLC’s greatest success stories.

The future of the profession is at an important crossroads.

That growth is fuelled by the fact that Britain has become a great place to headquarter many of the world’s most successful companies. It is also driven by the high regard for our standards of corporate governance and audit compared to many other jurisdictions.

The future of the profession is at an important crossroads with the Financial Reporting Council under review and with an emerging debate about the Big Four’s role in the market.

Whatever change is proposed must work on a global basis or we will endanger the UK’s pre-eminent position.

This debate will lead to change. It also places a responsibility upon the profession to come up with the right solutions. However, we must be clear that whatever change is proposed must work on a global basis or we will endanger the UK’s pre-eminent position.

We must also consider the technological revolution that will transform the face of accountancy and audit beyond our current comprehension. Regulatory solutions must be fit for the future and not fight the wars of the past.

The profession provides the leaders of most of British industry and provides battalions of volunteers as charity trustees.

The accountancy profession in the UK is much more than the Big Four firms.

The profession provides the leaders of most of British industry; advises our SME’s and start-ups in every High Street in the land; ensures the transparency of public finance; and provides battalions of volunteers as charity trustees and treasurers.

Accountancy firms also make up five of the top 10 UK employers for social mobility.

We welcome the current debate but urge that it does not become an excuse to trash accountants.

The future of the profession must be considered on evidence and reason. Not on rhetoric.

Topics

  • Development of the profession
  • Political landscape
  • Thought leadership

Previous Page