Four things you didn't know about your ICAS tutor team

You see them in class all the time but how well do you really know your ICAS tutors? In this light-hearted article we’ve unearthed four interesting facts about your teaching team. Some of them may surprise you!

1. They didn’t all qualify with ICAS.

First up – not all members of the ICAS teaching team have walked exactly in your shoes. Although very many of them did qualify as CAs through ICAS, others didn’t. ICAEW, ACCA and CIOT all feature as alternatives. Having this diversity in our teaching ranks means that ICAS tutors know all about what the competition offers, and how to keep on improving the CA qualification to ensure it remains highly credible and highly respected.

Regardless of whether they studied here or not, what all of your tutors bring to the table is a real passion for delivering the CA qualification, as well as an understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to create the best CAs.

2. They have an exciting variety of skills.

At ICAS, your tutor team are a diverse bunch. Their skills and experience have been honed across many different organisations, meaning that wherever you are working, the challenges you face will be familiar to your teaching team. Whether you’re working for one of the big four or in a smaller firm, you can be sure that your tutor team will be on hand with great advice about the organisational culture, working practices and the type of work pressures you face.

3. They’ve travelled the world.

Your CA qualification is your passport to a great career, including opportunities for working abroad if you want to. Many members of the ICAS teaching team have taken advantage of the freedom the CA qualification brings, having worked across Europe and in Africa too.

ICAS CAs work in more than 100 countries worldwide. To help further your career abroad, ICAS has set up reciprocal arrangements with accountancy institutes around the world, including:

  • The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand (ICANZ)
  • The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
  • The Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA)

What's more, ICAS is also a member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW), a group of leading institutes of Chartered Accountants from around the world. CAW supports, develops and promotes the vital role that CAs play throughout the global economy.

4. They are not couch potatoes!

Contrary to popular opinion, not all members of the tutor team all sit around doing nothing in their spare time! Although some of them might admit to being sofa dwellers and knowing just a bit too much about X Factor, many like to stay on their toes. From walkers, runners and football players to cyclists and hockey players, the teaching team are an active bunch.

They've taken part in numerous charity and corporate events with a sporting twist, from the Caledonian Challenge for Foundation Scotland, the Global Corporate Challenge, the Great North Run, the Kiltwalk and the Loch Ness and Edinburgh Marathons.

August 2017

Thursday 17th August: Finance Professionals aren't as scary as chefs

Financial service professionals are some of the scariest people in the UK, according to a recent survey by Fletchers Solicitors.

Of the 2,000 people polled, 64% considered bank managers, accountants and bookkeepers to be the most intimidating individuals to face as a client or customer, placing just second behind hospitality professionals like chefs and bartenders.

Conversely, 73% of respondents found doctors and nurses to be perceived as the most likeable professionals by the UK public.

This could be a concerning statistic when considering the level of trust that is often put in the individuals who manage finances, both personal and professional. The ability to exercise emotional intelligence and use good communication skills can go a long way in ensuring a good working relationship.

Soft skills are a highly sought after advantage in many sectors and are considered on par with technical knowledge by some employers.

Alex Kenny, Marketing Director at Fletchers Solicitors, said: “Perhaps those who work in industries that provide care and support such as health and education could teach others how to improve their delivery and customer handling skills.

“When selling a product or service there must be a general level of approachability between provider and client and the customer should feel at ease, whether at a restaurant dining table or providing customer services. An anxious or stressed client can also lead to miscommunications and even in some cases problems such as medical negligence.”

Get in touch

How do you perceive the profession? Tell us by emailing or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we continue our in-depth look at the basics of basis periods and give you some tips on figuring out ABS. We also share some pictures from the recent ICAS London Summer Social, a networking event for CA students and newly-qualified CAs.

Back to Basics: Basis periods as a sole trader II

We continue our back to basics series on basis periods for sole traders with a look at overlapping profits, ending trade and the practicalities of choosing an accounting date.

Top ten tips for ABS

Our tutors share tips for Assurance and Business Systems on day one of class or revision day, but they are useful for everyone sitting ABS. Use these advice gems to get ahead in class and studies.

The 2017 ICAS London Summer Social: In pictures

ICAS students and newly-qualified CAs gathered on the banks of the Thames for the 2017 ICAS London Summer Social networking event last week. Were you there to take in the stunning City landmarks and enjoy the sparkling company of your up-and-coming peers? 

Monday 14th August: Ten years on from the financial crisis

It has been 10 years since the first signs of the global financial crisis made themselves known, when French bank BNP Paribas froze three of its biggest funds.

CA Today previously released a detailed timeline of the crash and here we have put together a summary of the key events of the crisis that have impacted the global economy in the last decade.

Infographic: GFC in numbers

Get in touch

Is there anything else you would like to see a more in-depth analysis of on the CA Student Blog? Let us know by contacting or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we look at the nitty gritty of your qualification, including how to complete achievement logs, what you need to know for TPS exams and a vlog on how to use tax legislation books!

Achievement logs shouldn't be a slog

All students have to complete an online achievement log to accurately record their practical experience but it doesn’t have to be difficult!

What you need to know about TPS exams

If you attended TPS classes in 2016 but are sitting TPS exams in 2017 (either through exam failure or exam deferral) then this is what you need to know.

Vlog: Tips for using tax legislation books for TPS

As a TPS tax student will receive two white legislation books. They may appear daunting, but if you follow a few tips, they can become your friends.

Thursday 10th August: Extra help with VAT

Tutor Duncan McKellar highlights a great resource for tax students in today's blog:

The TPS Taxation course builds on the basics of VAT which are taught as part of TC Principles of Taxation (‘PoT’). Topics like VAT on land and buildings, partial exemption and international trade are all part of this coverage and can be tricky concepts to get your head around.

As VAT is one of the few indirect taxes covered in your CA studies, it can take a bit of getting used to the concept of tax being charged on sales, as opposed to tax due on income or capital receipts.

For me, it has always been a case of trying to stick to the basic principles covered in PoT when trying to understand the more complex concepts such as the option to tax.

This series of articles on Accounting Web covering the option to tax, includes great basics as well as complex aspects. It also introduces the ‘transfer of going concern’ which is covered as part of the TPE course.  

Get in touch

Is there anything else you would like to see a more in-depth analysis of on the CA Student Blog? Let us know by contacting or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we cover the basics of working out basis periods for new businesses and take a look at some of the opinions of business rates. We also share some insights on cybersecurity from CA Today.

Back to Basics: Basis Periods for sole traders

For entrepreneurs starting their own business, it is possible to choose whatever accounting date suits the business – but tax is paid for the fiscal year, running from 6 April to 5 April. We go back to basics on the rules of the start of trade and what this means. 

Should business rates be scrapped?

Business rates have been subject to growing dissatisfaction recently, as changes to the amounts owed impacts small business owners. What are they and how do they function?

How accountants are outhacking the hackers

With cybersecurity a bigger issue than ever before, firm’s “penetration testing” teams are working to stay one step ahead of the criminals.

Monday 7th August: The new kid on the Blockchain

You've heard of Bitcoin, the digital currency synonymous with Blockchain endeavours around the world, but what exactly is 'Bitcoin cash'?

Bitcoin (BTC) is just one of many digital payment systems used for cyber transactions but one that has gained popularity and prominence in recent years. 

Now, newcomer Bitcoin Cash (BCC) has officially branched off from the system as a separate entity after attempts by industry leaders to find a working solution for a universal approach to the cryptocurrency failed last week.

The emergence of BCC comes after two years of debate around the size of the currency blocks that can be transferred in BTC. At present, Bitcoin has a 1-megabyte block limit favoured by some developers as the small size makes the network more difficult to hack. 

Bitcoin cash has a chance to become the dominant cryptocurrency.

However, many of those preoccupied with 'mining' Bitcoin (verifying transactions) believe bigger blocks will make the network faster and easier to scale in the future.

Bitcoin Cash blocks will be sized at eight megabytes and will carry over the cyber memory of its older counterpart, seemingly solving the issue. However, some large Bitcoin exchange platforms, including sector giant Coinbase, have said they will not back the new currency at all.

Peter Borovykh, Blockchain Solution Architect at BlockchainDriven, told Business Insider: "Bitcoin cash has a chance to become the dominant cryptocurrency contingent upon its ability to gain trust and support from both current and new players as well as security of its network.

"Due to, an at least temporary, solution of the scalability issues, Bitcoin Cash could attract more new capital to the entire crypto space, thus helping increase overall market cap."

For those with money invested in Bitcoin, this evolution in the market will be a tense waiting game as they wait to see who comes out on top.

Get in touch

Have you thought about buying Bitcoin? Why do you think cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity? Get in touch with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we think about future planning as we examine the different methods of innovation and talk to your tutors about life after your training contract. We also look into 'personalised accounting machines' and what they could mean for the profession.

How should you be innovating?

How do we innovate, and how can an innovative practice implement effective change in business?

Finishing your training contract

When your training contract draws to a close, the transition away from 'student' can be daunting and exciting in equal measure. What can you expect from your professional life as a fully-qualified CA? 

Personalised accounting machines: What do they mean for CAs?

A new machine learning automation system has been launched by software firm Xero, said to 'transform' personalised accounting experiences for small businesses.

Thursday 3rd August: Why it pays to plan for the unexpected

Colin McLellan CA, CFO of Skyscanner and one of the 2017 35 CAs under 35, has used his CA skills to become an invaluable factor in the growth of one of the UK's most successful online brands. This is how he handles the challenges of his role and manages the unexpected.

"Being asked to help set up [Skyscanner's] joint venture in Tokyo was an unexpected challenge. My role there was as interim CEO and it was the first time I’d had to really immerse myself in every aspect of our business, from product engineering and growth to recruitment and strategy – even down to arranging for a water cooler in the office."

What you focus on is less the day to day and week to week, and more on positioning the business for where it needs to be.

After leading a project with Yahoo! Japan last year that more than doubled the region's monthly visitors and revenue for Skyscanner, Colin was named Finance Director for the company on his return to the UK. More recently, he was promoted to the position of CFO and has again been applying his talents to the C-suite level.

Planning for the long-term presents the unique challenge of expecting and adapting to unpredictable circumstances. However, Colin notes this isn't necessarily a negative aspect of his role.

"There’s probably the assumption that the 'unexpected' is always a bad thing – systems breaking, people leaving and so on, but it can also be a good surprise, such as the business growing faster than had been forecast. That’s a nice thing to happen, but one which brings with it the challenge of scaling every part of the business quickly to cope with higher demand."

Read the full interview with Colin on CA Today.

Colin will be speaking at The ICAS Conference 2017, held in association with Investec Wealth & Investment. CA students receive a special discounted rate of £105pp on tickets for the event.

Secure your place

Get in touch

What are you looking forward to most at the ICAS Conference 2017? Which of the speakers caught your attention? Get in touch with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we revisit the process of computing corporation tax (CT) and offer some advice on how to grow your professional presence on LinkedIn. Also featured is a podcast from Bloomberg, offering insight into the influence of popular culture on the economy.

Four steps to getting noticed on LinkedIn

Writing professional articles is a great way to network, promote yourself and show off your area of expertise. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to share knowledge and opinions with colleagues on a global scale but how do you make sure your message is visible?

Finding money in music

Chart-topping music hits, along with other elements of popular culture, act as a litmus test for the mood and opinions of society as a whole. This information, with the right analysis, can prove invaluable in predicting the stock market.

Back to Basics: Corporation Tax Computation

Calculating the corporation tax (CT) liability of a company involves a number of steps. In this guide, we aim to provide you with a checklist of the steps to allow you to confidently calculate a corporation tax liability from the start point of a set of accounting results.

July 2017

Monday 31 July: Is it time to refocus at work?

Have you just come back from holiday? Maybe you're planning a late summer getaway? In either case, the thought of blue skies and white sands could be killing your productivity.

Being distracted at work reduces your efficiency and prevents you from working to your full capacity. Spending large parts of your day unfocused with your attention divided between important and unimportant tasks doesn't send a good message about your dedication to the job.

Whether you find yourself dreaming of your holiday, checking social media or simply allowing your attention to drift somewhere it isn't needed, these methods will help get your focus back on track.

1. Try noise-cancelling headphones

Not everyone can work effectively with music playing but blaring tunes aren't a prerequisite to wearing a pair of headphones. If you find yourself frequently distracted by the discussions of your colleagues or annoyed by the ambient sounds of the office (keyboard clacking, a loud printer, elevators etc.) then muffling the noise could make all the difference.

2. Use 'focus hours'

Set aside some alone time every day or week to allow yourself to concentrate fully on the task at hand. This could mean finding a secluded meeting room, going off-site to a more conducive environment or even just muting your phone and emails for an hour.

3. Prioritise your day

The time of day at which we are most productive varies for each individual. If you're most productive in the morning, focus on urgent issues while your productivity is high. Structure your day so that, if your attention begins to wane mid-afternoon, you have your most important tasks taken care of with the concentration they deserve.

4. Set small goals and rewards

It will help channel your productivity if you have short-term targets to keep your attention. For example: "Once I've finished this report, I'll go make a cup of tea." Allowing yourself small breaks will give your mind the satisfaction of a short distraction without having a negative impact on your to-do list.

5. Come to work motivated

Start your day in the best way possible by arriving at work in a good mood. Work on your lifestyle habits to make sure you get a good night's rest and have time to eat a balanced, energising breakfast that will keep hunger from occupying your mind.

Get in touch

What is most likely to affect your focus in the workplace? Do you have any tips or tricks? Get in touch with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we explore the role that your Level Controllers play in getting you through the qualification and take a look at recent research into where to find the most ethical accountants. We also try to bring a little magic into the workplace with our nod to Harry Potter and the Sorting Hat of workplace personalities.

Meet the Level Controllers

Have you ever wondered about the role of a Level Controller? What exactly do they do for you and how do parts of their jobs differ from your other tutors? Find out from the Level Controllers for TC, TPS and TPE.

Big Four going extra mile for ethics

Big Four firms are leading the way in creating an ethical workplace environment, according to a survey of more than 900 accountants across the sectors of the profession. The paper suggests that accountants employed by leading public accounting firms have a more positive perception of the ethical environment they work in.

Infographic: Wizarding workplace personalities

31 July marks the birthdays of both JK Rowling and her most famous character, Harry Potter. In celebration, we take a look at the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and how their diversity translates into the workplace.

Thursday 27 July: You don't need dragons or direwolves to succeed as a CA

The wait is over and winter is finally here. Game of Thrones has returned to our screens for a seventh season and with it comes a few lessons for CA students to ponder. Here are three (spoiler-free!) tips for success from Westeros.

1. Stick to your career goals

Perseverance is a continuing theme in the Seven Kingdoms. The majority of characters who have survived thus far have done so by staying focused, working hard and being smart about how they accumulate power.

Daenerys Targaryen is a prime example of what setting your mind to something can accomplish. Though young and inexperienced, she has proven herself a formidable player in the fight for the Iron Throne by sticking to her guns and facing obstacles head-on. The dragons help as well.

2. Support is important

Making the right allies and being confident enough to accept help is a key factor for success. Networking with other leaders and having the respect of our colleagues is especially important for knowing who you can rely on in a pinch.

King Joffrey, disliked by nobles and peasants alike, has often been portrayed as struggling to assert his authority in public or gain respect behind doors due to the widespread perceptions of his character. As his grandfather tells him: “Any man who must say, ‘I am the king’ is no true king."

3. Always be ready for change

Life is unpredictable and failure to adapt to a new situation can spell trouble for business, especially in a disruptive industry. Technology, political upheaval and economic uncertainty can all have a profound impact on your role and the wider organisation. Staying flexible and responsive can help manage threats and risk.

As fans will be well aware, anything can happen to anyone on Game of Thrones. It could be argued that the poor fortunes of Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, Baratheons and Tyrells alike are at least partially down to a reliance on the 'old ways'. The true innovators and game-changers of Westeros are the ones who are constantly doing the unexpected - for better or worse.

Get in touch

Do you think Game of Thrones has any relevance in real-life? Which characters do you think would make good CAs? Get in touch with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we take a look at some career advice you can carry on with you after qualifying. Find out why professional development is so important, how to present financial data properly and why data protection should matter to you.

What is CPD? Advice for newly-qualified CAs

As a CA, you will be expected to keep your knowledge and professional standards up to date. But how do you get started in taking charge of your own development and setting the goals that will boost your career?

Top tips for presenting financial data

Whether you are just starting out in your training contract, or have a bit more experience, presenting financial data to others will be part of your role. Here's how to present data in a clear and concise manner for clients and employers in six easy steps.

Data protection for CA Students

If you’ve ever handled data pertaining to a person, then you have been working within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act. But what is the Act, and how does it affect what we do?

Monday 24 July: New money, old faces

The next step for plastic banknotes in the UK has been revealed as the new £10 note featuring beloved literary figure Jane Austen.

Following the successful integration of the polymer £5 earlier this year, the £10 is also getting an upgrade to a more durable material.

The Pride and Prejudice author is the first female writer to appear on Bank of England currency. Other famous wordsmiths such as William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, have been popular additions to the gallery of historical figures featuring on UK money in the past.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney introduced the new note at Winchester Cathedral last week. He said: “Our banknotes serve as repositories of the country’s collective memory, promoting awareness of the United Kingdom’s glorious history and highlighting the contributions of its greatest citizens.

“The new £10 will be printed on polymer, making it safer, stronger and cleaner. The note will also include a new tactile feature on the £10 to help the visually impaired, ensuring the nation’s money is as inclusive as possible.”

Jane Austen note

(Image courtesy of Bank of England: Flickr.)

The Austen note will make its debut into circulation on 14 September 2017, with the paper £10 being phased out early next year. A polymer £20 banknote depicting artist J.M.W. Turner is the next planned replacement, due to be rolled out by 2020.

The Bank of England has launched a website dedicated to everything you need to know about 'The New Ten'.

Get in touch

Who do you want to see on your money in the future? Can you think of a CA deserving of the honour? Get in touch with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we look at one of the new taxes that could come into effect within the next few years. We also cover the skills that are important to our future career and how to make a good impression where you are now.

The 'tech tax': What you need to know

A levy on social media companies and potentially for the wider online and technology industry is one of the more controversial proposals put forward in the Conservative Party manifesto. 

5 tips to make a good impression on your training contract

The beginning of your training contract can be a daunting time, with so much to learn and lots of new faces to meet. Making a great first impression isn’t down to luck, as there are lots of things you can do to ensure you get off to a great start.

5 soft skills you need to prioritise

Last year, research from YouGov for Huthwaite International showed that leading business decision makers consider personal qualities and soft skills to be key in a successful career. Here are the five areas you should work on in order to advance.

Thursday 20 July: Raise your profile in work

Are you seeking to raise your profile with your training contract employer and the wider CA network? 

A professional social media account can work wonders for promoting your talents and knowledge to a wider audience and can negate the need for spring-cleaning your existing personal account. After all, what was said in 2014 can stay in 2014!

Here are our six golden rules for creating and managing a professional showcase account. 

1. Determine whether any current social media accounts can be tweaked for a professional basis.

Be sure to add your professional website or affiliations, and apply to have your account verified for an added stamp of authenticity.

2. Choose your platform. 

The Next Web has produced a guide to choosing your platform for maximum impact - it really depends on how much time you can realistically dedicate to cultivating your online presence, and what audience you wish to reach.

3. Identify your key influencers.

Those working in your industry or managing a healthy presence of followers who regularly interact are prime candidates for influencers. It really is a 'game' of follow the leader!

4. Like for like.

These are the unspoken rules of social media! Expand your reach of social media posts and get them in front of the people who need to read them (future supporters, employers, allies, purchasers, customers and so on). 

5. Choose your content.

Ask questions of your network, retweet interesting papers, comment on articles. Single out your interests and what you can make meaningful contributions to - you can position yourself as an expert with enough concise and relevant input into a topic, and become the 'go-to' for commentary on topics of the day.

6. Tend to it like a garden!

Social media constantly needs to be fed with new information, and if you aren't feeding it, then someone else will.  A busy feed is a visited feed!

Read the full article to get started on your new promotional tool!

Get Involved

We've got a new bunch of a fantastic contributors signed up to the blog, who will be commenting on issues or writing articles from time to time. If you want to get involved, email or reach us on Twitter @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we're getting obsessed with words and how you use them, from picking up extra marks in ABS to decoding commonly misused words and how we apply them in everyday contexts.

Diversity: buzzword vs reality

Words repeated over and over as business terms can soon begin to lose their meaning. They become 'buzzwords' that, while sounding impressive, have little impact. Has the term 'diversity' suffered this fate?

Common malapropisms: Are you saying that right?

Every once in a while, we are all guilty of a bit of malapropism. This simply translates as using an incorrect word that sounds similar to the one you intended... is it change tact or change tack? 

Top ten tips for ABS

Our tutors share tips for Assurance and Business Systems on day one of class or revision day, but they are useful for everyone sitting ABS. Use these advice gems to get ahead in class and studies.

Monday 17 July: We're feeling (summer) social!

On 3 August in London, the ICAS student committee is hosting an exclusive summer social for our CA Students and newly qualified members. 

Here's your chance to grab some drinks in the sun and swap contacts and knowledge with people in your field, and what's more it's free! 

We know you’re interested in meeting CAs who are the ‘ones to watch’ in their respective fields. Rising stars who stand out thanks to their ambition, their curiosity and their drive to succeed. 

To help you have the right conversations with the right people, we’ve invited along a number of emerging CA leaders who are working in key areas of interest.

These include representatives from financial services, banking, innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurship and technology. They’ll be on hand to share their experiences over a drink or two at this informal networking event.

This event is extremely popular and has a limited number of places available, so book your place now! This year our venue is the beautiful outdoor decked terrace at Browns Bar on Butlers Wharf.

Book now

Get in touch

What are your plans for the summer? Will you be joining us for the summer social? Send us your photos and stories to or reach us on Twitter @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we turn our attentions to the music that can help you build neural pathways and aid recollection of information - handy for exams and committing the complex aspects of the CA qualification to long-term memory!

We also look at the proposed sugar tax for 2018 and how tax legislation can help fight health problems, and catch up with tutor Matthew Hall who worked across in secondary school teaching, recruitment, lifeguarding and hotel waiting before deciding that the CA was for him, and training the next generation at ICAS became a life goal.

Music to study by

Do you prefer to study with the only noise being your own breath or dropping pins? Or do you prefer a bit of background to break up the monotony? Depending on your learning style, music can be very helpful for learning new ideas and committing them to memory.

Tutor profile: Matthew Hall 

Matthew Hall CA fills us in on how a varied career never really strayed far from a love of teaching. Find out how being a CA has impacted his life.

A sugar tax for health?

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) comes into effect from April 2018, taxing the amount of sugar that drinks manufacturers use in their products. What are the implications for business, health and your favourite sweet treats?

Thursday 13 July: Music while you study?

A lot of people find it easier to study with a certain playlist or favourite album playing in the background. But what does your preferred music say about your personality?

The Short Test of Musical Preferences (STOMP) is a psychological tool that can be used to link personality traits with musical taste. 

It works by rating your preferences on a 14-point scale that indicates which genres appeal most to you. Certain mindsets and behaviours are more common among people on various points of the scale.

For example:

  • 'Reflective and Complex' music (i.e. blues, classical, folk and jazz) shows that you are likely a very logical person who values intelligence and likes new experiences.
  • 'Intense and Rebellious' music (i.e. alternative, heavy metal and rock) indicates a surprisingly similar personality to classical music lovers with the exception of being generally more athletic and interested in sports.
  • 'Upbeat and Conventional' music (i.e. country, pop, religious and soundtracks) preferences suggest an extroverted and friendly person with a positive self-image.
  • 'Energetic and Rhythmic' music (i.e. electronic, rap, hip hop and soul) is popular among athletes, the politically liberal and those who consider themselves agreeable.

To find out where your preferences lie, give each of the genres below a score out of seven and find the average for the categories listed above. Your highest category score indicates your personality.

Rap/Hip HopHeavy Metal
Soul/FunkSoundtracks/Theme Music

We previously covered the 'Mozart Effect' on the CA Student Blog which suggested classical music is the best genre to listen to while studying.

Get in touch

What music do you like to listen to? Do you have any studying tips to share with fellow CA students? Share your thoughts with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we go back to basics on tax-adjusted trading profits and reveal how you can use the TPS examiner report to prepare for resits. We also talk to a CA in the gaming industry about apps and Australia.

How to use the TPS examiner report to your advantage

Recently sat your TPS exams? Find out what materials and feedback are available for retakes, and how the examiner’s report is used.

Back to Basics: Calculating a tax-adjusted trading profit / loss

One of the core skills of an accountant working in tax is being able to adjust an accounting result for tax purposes to reach a tax-adjusted trading profit or loss.

Bruce Thomson CA: Adventure? Yes! Business? Nnooo!

With a CA qualification, you can go anywhere and do anything, as the fascinating career of Bruce Thomson, Business & Marketing Director of Sydney-based video games company Nnooo, proves. The company makes addictive mobile games such as Pop and Blast 'Em Bunnies, and it all started in London.

Monday 10 July

Thursday 6 July: Social mobility in accountancy

Don't miss your chance to network with the leading young CAs of the business and finance world in London this September!

The ICAS Young Leaders Summit 2017 is the inaugural conference of its kind, bringing together CAs from around the world to share perspectives and insight on the big issues affecting tomorrow's entrepreneurial, innovative and digital landscape.

Taking place on Thursday 14 September, the event will be hosted in the stunning Leadenhall Building, otherwise known as 'The Cheesegrater', surrounded by breathtaking views of London's skyline from Landing Forty Two.

Young professionals will have the opportunity to hear from successful CA peers in dynamic lightning sessions and to meet this year's One Young CA who will be named at the awards ceremony after the Summit.

World-class women

The keynote speakers at this year's event are Kate Robertson, Co-Founder of One Young World, and Holly Tucker MBE, Founder of Holly & Co and Co-Founder of

One Young World (OYW) is a UK-based charity that gathers together the brightest young leaders from around the world and provides the opportunity to make lasting connections and drive positive change. Founded in 2009 by Kate and her partner, David Jones, OYW hosts an annual international summit for ambassadors and speakers to collaborate and debate innovative solutions for global issues. is one of the UK's best-known online retailer brands, catering to the discerning consumer seeking a unique purchase with a personal touch. It offers a marketplace platform for the UK's best creative small businesses and creators. Holly co-founded the site over 10 years ago and is now venturing into a new project.

Holly & Co aims to demystify business for creators, connect like-minded creatives across the world and shine a light on small creative enterprises.

Secure your place

ICAS student and members enjoy a special rate of £75 for tickets to both the Young Leaders Summit and One Young CA Awards. Why not check out the Attendee List to find out who's already signed up?

Book your place now

Get in touch

Will you be attending the ICAS Young Leaders Summit? What are you hoping to take away from the event? Get in touch with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

Tutor profile: Eleanor Poole CA

Eleanor Poole CA tells us how her mind turned toward numbers and tax instead of stitches and prescriptions. Here's why she values the CA and quickly made it her goal to become an ICAS lecturer.

Eight tax penalty tips for tax students

Understanding how HMRC tax penalties work are an essential part of the Principles of Taxation course. There’s lots of information to take in, so we’ve developed these handy tips to help you remember the key details.

Best practice tips for controlling your digital files

Have you ever felt like you’re drowning in digital files of endless ‘untitled’ documents or IMG5677… from three years ago? Here are our suggestions for keeping what you need, where you need it, and when you need it.

Big Four firms joined Grant Thornton at the top of the UK Social Mobility Index, but what does this mean for the historical inequality in accountancy - is it a thing of the past?

research project at the University of Glasgow is looking into the effects of social upbringing on later career progression. Lead researcher Chris Flanagan wrote: "Within the accountancy profession, we know that professionals are more likely to be privately educated and have attended an elite university.

"Just 17% of accountants come from a working-class background and these accountants could earn up to 20% less than those from a professional background."

However, the second annual ranking from the Social Mobility Foundation showed that larger accountancy firms and financial institutions in the UK are making a concentrated effort to be inclusive. 

All the Top 50 firms in the Social Mobility Employer Index should be applauded for the progress they are making towards ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to get in and get on.

Grant Thornton topped the list of 50 organisations, closely followed by KPMG in second place. The latter became the first business in the UK to publish data on the socioeconomic profile of its employees earlier this year.

Standard Life, Deloitte, J.P. Morgan and PwC also appeared in the top ten. EY, who are promoting graduate and school-leaver schemes by removing defined academic requirements from their employment criteria, placed 16th.

David Johnston, Chief Executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “All the Top 50 firms in the Social Mobility Employer Index should be applauded for the progress they are making towards ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to get in and get on – regardless of their background.

“While no one firm has cracked the issue and there is still progress to be made, they should be congratulated both for having prioritised social mobility and for being prepared to have their processes and practices independently scrutinised.”

Get in touch

Do you consider equality to be an issue in the profession? What social mobility policies and initiatives does your firm have in place? Get in touch with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we explain what to do when you fail an exam, and go over next steps for ABS if you need to re-sit - find out why it's important to make use of verbal feedback! We also feature the last of our entrepreneurial TED talks, with a look at what young entrepreneurs can learn from the corporate world.

Exclusive networking event: CAs and students under 35 - Edinburgh, 6 July

Join us at the Investec Wealth & Investment office for the opportunity to meet our One Young CA finalists and judges plus fellow CAs. Drinks and nibbles will be provided on arrival. Anton Colella will be hosting the event so this is a great opportunity for you to speak directly with him.

What to do if you fail an exam

If you didn’t get the result you were hoping for in the recent CA examinations, don’t be too hard on yourself. Here are five practical ways you can deal with exam failure and move forward.

Help for re-sitting ABS exams

Are you feeling a little unsure after your ABS exam? It is a fact of life that some students will fail their ABS exam at each diet. But never fear, we're here to help!

What Young Entrepreneurs Can Learn From The Corporate World

The founders of internationally famous brands like Birchbox sat down with Inc., a seminal source of inspiration for start-ups, to discuss their key lessons and advice for entrepreneurs. Hear from Hayley Barna, Co-Founder of Birchbox, on what young entrepreneurs can learn from the corporate world.

Monday 3 July: Removing barriers to innovation

Clare Campbell CA, Founder of Prickly Thistle, made the unconventional decision to apply her CA skills to the world of textiles and fashion. Now she encourages others to follow the entrepreneurial path.

“I’d achieved my immediate goals at 30 of being married, having children, becoming a CA and doing all these different things, but I’ve always looked for something more and the next challenge," said Clare. "It was a case of taking that journey and everything I’d gained and saying now is the right time to do this.

“I asked myself how I could apply the skills I’ve gleaned from other successful organisations to create a business that gives people around the world an emotive experience and champions an economic uprising for the Highlands in one of its most iconic industries.”

For me, barriers do not exist when driving some form of innovation into the industry.

Clare started bespoke tartan and textile company Prickly Thistle in 2015. Prior to taking on the business, she held several senior financial roles at MSIS Group and spent a year as a self-employed Consultant. Clare qualified as a CA in 2003 with Scott Oswald.

“I don’t have a background in textiles but I actually see that as a real curve ball in the sense I don’t know the traditional rules," Clare commented. "For me, barriers do not exist when driving some form of innovation into the industry. Like in accountancy when you first meet a new client, I’ve come in with a fresh eye and an eager approach.”

The CA qualification has been invaluable in supporting Clare through the Prickly Thistle journey. She said: “No matter what you go on to do the CA training will be beneficial. I genuinely feel that way, even more so for my experiences as a practising accountant in different forms.

“I think there can be pressure, or a trend, nowadays to finish university and immediately create the next unicorn, but I would advocate that taking the time to become a CA is not going to delay your career in any way. I’ve met so many people starting a business who wish they were accountants.”

Read the full interview with Clare on CA Today: Part IPart II.

Clare will be speaking at The ICAS Conference 2017, held in association with Investec Wealth & Investment. CA students receive a special discounted rate of £105pp on tickets for the event.

Secure your place

Get in touch

What are you looking forward to most at the ICAS Conference 2017? Which of the speakers have caught your attention? Get in touch with or tweet us @ICAS_students.

In today's blog, we interview CA student Ben Carvell on his plans for the future and take a look at whether a doughnut economy could be the solution to global inequality. We also visit the reasons behind why technology start-ups in Europe will soon be in dire need of financial experts at the helm.

What is the doughnut economy?

How flawed is our economic model? Is it solely responsible for social inequality? What about climate change and political upheaval? Could a simple doughnut be the solution?

CA Student Ben Carvell: interview

We interviewed CA Student Ben Carvell, Senior Audit Associate in Financial Services with KPMG, on his experiences of the school leaver programme and his international plans following qualification.

Exclusive networking event: CAs and students under 35 - Edinburgh, 6 July

Join us at the Investec Wealth & Investment office for the opportunity to meet our One Young CA finalists and judges plus fellow CAs. Drinks and nibbles will be provided on arrival. Anton Colella will be hosting the event so this is a great opportunity for you to speak directly with him.

Why young start-ups need CAs

Young technology entrepreneurs are forging ahead in Europe despite a lack of financial acumen, according to a study from executive search firm DHR International.


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