SCABA: The charity for CAs in need
The Scottish Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association (SCABA) was set up nearly 100 years ago to support CAs in need. Anne-Marie Mearns CA, Chair of the SCABA Council, spoke to Eleanor O'Neill about the importance of the charity to the CA community.
Founded in 1919, SCABA offers assistance to ICAS members and their dependents who may need a helping hand.
“As CAs we all expect our qualification to be the passport to a long and successful career and, for the vast majority, this is the case," Anne-Marie said.
"However, for a small number, things can turn out very differently, sometimes completely unexpectedly and often through no fault of their own. This is when SCABA can help.
"We can provide support financially by way of grants or loans, but equally we can provide practical support and guidance. Our team includes a support worker who has many years of experience working across the NHS, social work and the benefits system."
Each individual case where help has been requested is considered in complete confidence by the SCABA Council and assistance is normally given by a grant or loan.
A member of the Council or a local representative acting on its behalf will make contact and arrange a visit to the CA if appropriate. Following this initial meeting, an application, together with a report and recommendation, will be made to the SCABA Council for approval.
"Ill heath, death and unemployment are just some of the areas in which we have provided help," Anne-Marie commented.
"As well as providing ongoing support we have assisted with house modifications due to disability, housing repairs, respite care, retraining, university fees for dependents, the list is endless.”
She added: "Before I joined the SCABA Council I had no idea what was involved and can only say that I was taken aback by the wide range of cases where we have helped. I am so proud of the work that we do and the difference we can make to people’s lives by our support.”
Relying primarily on the generous donations and legacies of CAs, SCABA has been able to assist in hundreds of difficult situations for ICAS members and their families.
"All too often the perception is: 'Why would CAs need a benevolent association?'," said Anne-Marie. "We want those who need us to know we are there and can help and for the others to consider helping by making donations through the Annual Renewal, or by including us in their will."
A chance to get involved
Roles within charities can be a great opportunity for CAs to utilise their qualification and experience to make a positive difference. SCABA currently has a vacancy for a Charity Administrator, who will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation.
"The Administrator will be vital in helping us promote SCABA in providing a first class benevolent association," said Anne-Marie.
Taking on part-time roles such as this has proven a great way to use the skills of a CA in supporting a cause close to the heart of ICAS.
Anne-Marie added: "Working with SCABA has made me feel that am I am able to give something back from the successful career that my qualification gave me. Getting involved with SCABA has made me proud to be a CA.
"We have the ICAS Foundation, which provides such excellent support for future accountants, and we want to ensure that we can carry on that level of support through a member’s professional life and beyond."
The Charity Administrator vacancy is an exciting opportunity for a self-motivated individual to help fellow CAs, and provide high quality administrative and secretarial services to the Association.
The position is part-time, based either from home or at an ICAS office location, and is paid at a competitive rate.
For more information about the Scottish Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association (SCABA) or to make a charitable donation, contact the SCABA Council.
The Scottish Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association is a charity registered in Scotland SC008365.