Sandy Manson: Why the CA is world-leading and a priceless brand

By Sandy Manson CA, The CA magazine

12 April 2019

In his last column as ICAS President, Sandy Manson explains how combining a culture of challenge with great teamwork can produce transformational results.

The most successful organisations that I have had the pleasure of working with have a healthy culture of constructively challenging the status quo and an insatiable appetite for wanting to evolve and improve. Stand still and the world passes you by.

When I started my Presidential year, we had a new CEO in the form of the highly capable Bruce Cartwright and a Council bolstered by an energetic cohort of new members.

Our Council away day in May, working on a rejuvenated strategy for ICAS, was energising and thought-provoking. There remains a lot to do, but the last year has seen a period of exciting change and progress at ICAS.

Everything that is built to last has to start with a strong foundation and that is exactly what Bruce, the ICAS staff and your Council have been putting in place.

One action was to undertake a review to create a strong and transparent governance framework. Under Council Member Philip Johnson’s insightful leadership, this has been an important part of our journey.

Changes afoot at ICAS

In the last year we have also seen extensive changes to the CA syllabus, to keep the qualification relevant in this fast-changing world, and ICAS has actively and constructively contributed to a number of major policy discussions.

I want to mention in particular ICAS Deputy President Mike McKeon for the tireless and influential work he and his team have done in so many important policy areas.

Furthermore, ICAS has rolled out a transformational digital platform to ensure our processes and systems are ever more efficient and better serve our members and students.

We won’t get everything right on day one, but a year on and the level of change for the better at ICAS is hugely encouraging.

There is also a renewed focus on becoming a more member and service-focused organisation, while never forgetting our priority is to uphold the public interest at all times. I have valued the wise counsel and insight of our five Public Interest Members every step of the way. They challenge and give us an external perspective which adds enormous value to all we do.

We won’t get everything right on day one, but a year on and the level of change for the better at ICAS is hugely encouraging.

It has been the most fascinating and enjoyable year and I have had the opportunity to speak to members around the world. We can further improve how we connect our 21,000 members across the globe and that’s exactly what we intend to do.

The connection to our members

I always knew that the connection members feel towards the ICAS reputation and the CA brand was in extremely good heart, but I hadn’t realised just how strong and enduring it is. The Gold Club member events are a wonderful example of that.

I would encourage you all to engage with ICAS and your fellow members whenever you can.

You can do this by supporting the valuable work of the ICAS Foundation or SCABA, mentoring younger members, joining one of our area committees and working groups or by simply attending member events.

It has been a huge honour and privilege for me to be part of that team.

As I step down as your President, I am heartened by the fact that ICAS has made great strides in the last year and that’s due to the work of an incredible team at ICAS, a wise and challenging Council and members in countries worldwide who fly the CA banner with pride.

It has been a huge honour and privilege for me to be part of that team, and I wish you all much success and enjoyment in your professional and personal journey through life.


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