Jim Pettigrew CA: Standing the test of time
Jim Pettigrew CA reflects on a whirlwind year of meeting remarkable and inspiring CAs around the world, and presiding over an Institute in great health and with a bright future.
Time and tide wait for no man. Not for King Canute and certainly not for the president of ICAS.
It seems no time since I took up office 12 months ago. In fact, it seems no time since I set out on my own CA career when I qualified with Arthur Young McClelland Moores more than 30 years ago.
“So much to do and so little time,” the White Rabbit told Alice.
The White Rabbit was not the first, nor the last, visionary thought leader to consider the test of time.
Warren Buffett opined that: “Time is the friend of the wonderful company and the enemy of the mediocre.”
Don’t we all know that?
Benjamin Franklin first observed: “Time is money.”
We all know that!
While Martin Luther King encapsulated a greater cause when he told us: “The time is always right to do what is right.”
That is a concept that every CA should practise as well as preach.
For me, my time as president has passed in an instant. Most of all, it has been a whirlwind of meeting remarkable and inspiring CAs across the UK and around the world.
But it has also been a 12 months of exceptional achievements in our Institute.
My presidential time opened and closed at the Admissions Ceremony where we welcomed many hundreds of newly qualified CAs into our professional community. That underlined for me that the quality of our education and the quality of our chartered accountants stands first and foremost in the firmament of ICAS.
I have also seen first hand over the past year the Herculean efforts of the staff in our education division to nurture our students through their education and the work that goes on day after day to grow our student numbers by encouraging more and more to train with ICAS.
It has also been a 12 months that has ended with our membership growing beyond the 21,000 mark.
It has been a period of huge progress in our digital journey to create a “Virtual ICAS” with the launch of CA Today and CA Connect and the delivery of many other improvements.
The last year has also seen the development of an important partnership with CIPFA; the growing success of the ICAS Foundation; and the launch of our hugely important initiative “The Power of One”.
In the past 12 months I have travelled the length and breadth of the UK to meet our members. I have ventured overseas to Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia to meet our members there. I have also had the great pleasure of hosting nearly 1,000 CAs on the paddle steamer Waverley on the Clyde and the Thames.
Fellow CAs, I am delighted to report to you in this, my last column as president, that your Institute is in great health. It goes from strength to strength and those who follow me will not rest in their efforts to tackle the challenges of the future. Our mission is to create the leading global professional community.
It is now time to pass the chain of office to Ken McHattie CA. Ken and his fellow office bearers will do a magnificent job in continuing the evolution of our great Institute. That is assured.
My last words are not for our senior leaders, though, but for our students and newly qualifieds. I began my presidential journey with you. So, it is fitting that I end it with you, too. You are our future.
Let me leave you with the words of Gandhi. He claimed there are only seven things that could destroy us:
Wealth without work;
Pleasure without conscience;
Knowledge without character;
Religion without sacrifice;
Politics without principle;
Science without humanity;
Business without ethics.
Avoid these, and you – and ICAS – will stand the test of time.