Partnerships: the key to unlocking power

jim-pettigrew-thumb By Jim Pettigrew, ICAS President

28 May 2015

Joined-up thinking and forging connections are essential elements in ICAS' drive to further its strategic goals, says Jim Pettigrew CA.

It was an election result that confounded the pollsters and surprised many.

For weeks the talk was all of complex coalition. The worry was the potential for market chaos.

In the end, the need for new political partnerships passed as the Conservatives won a slender, unexpected majority.

Yet looking in from business to the world of politics we might innocently wonder why UK politicians find the concept of partnership with other parties so hard to contemplate and so difficult to achieve. Other political systems around the world are, of course, much more used to governing coalitions.

In business, the search to seek partners to help achieve your strategic goals and deliver competitive advantage is seen as a powerful and essential part of strategy by leaders and investors.

We've seen PwC announce a strategic alliance with Google, which aims to bring innovation to companies around the world.

EY has partnered with Microsoft to build together greater strengths in analytics, cyber security, and many more areas of digital innovation.

KPMG has teamed up with McLaren Formula One to see if data management from the racetrack can transform audit from "rear-view mirror" to the crystal ball of business decision-making.

Deloitte turned to NASA to help bring space-age risk management to the world of oil and gas.

At ICAS, partnership is also a key part of our strategy. It is key to helping an Institute of our scale punch well above our weight, strengthen our financial sustainability and increase our impact across the UK and around the world.

In April, we announced a new strategic alliance with the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). Our first initiative is an integrated qualification for audit which aims to set a new gold standard. The qualification will combine the unrivalled expertise and standing of both institutes to meet the needs of those who work across the public and corporate sectors. This will lead to dual designations from ICAS and CIPFA for the students who train for this innovative new qualification.

This opens up a whole new route for attracting new members to ICAS while ensuring the bar stays as high as it has always been. We are also exploring other areas where we could work together, including thought leadership.

As your President, I am excited by this new opportunity but proceeding with care on your behalf. On the day I was elected, an ICAS special general meeting passed a motion to harmonise subscription fees, so that full members pay the same wherever they are in the world. This change reflects our ambition to create a truly global Institute where members can access the same valuable networks and knowledge wherever they live and work. This means adjusting our strategy from "Building a professional community" to "Building a global professional community".

The ICAS Council and my own year in the presidency will focus on taking important steps towards our global goal. This won't happen overnight but we will pursue this with vigour. Our recent launch of and our ambitious digital strategy are a vitalpart of this.

Partnership is also incredibly important to achieving our global ambitions. Partnering more with other institutes and business organisations. Partnering on global thought leadership and seeking innovative partners in the way that the Big Four and other large corporates have done in the recent past.

Finding the right partners will be a power for the good of ICAS.


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