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.
Thursday 19 October: How paperclips can teach a lot about business
Have you ever wanted to run a paperclip business? A simple in-browser click game gives you the chance to try out your business acumen and experience the evolution of automation and AI first hand.
Reported across the internet as an addictive exercise in redundancy, Paperclips requires the player to simply press a button to produce stationery, using up wire supplies and measuring productivity versus demand. You can adjust the price of your product to try and boost your profits or get rid of stock but, mostly, you just click a button.
However, as the game progresses, you are offered a tool that automates the creation of paperclips. Subsequently, software that will order wire supplies as you begin to run low also comes online. At a certain point, you go from being a paperclip manufacturer to the manager of an AI system.
While the game satirically extends this situation to the point of hyperbole (your AI may or may not be hypnotising customers and trying to transform Earth into a paperclip factory), it does force you to consider what the future of manufacturing and a wider consumer economy dominated by AI may look like.
The threat of automation to human workers was highlighted by the President of the World Bank earlier this month, urging countries to invest in education and 'human capital' to combat the imminent loss of low-skill job positions.
CAs are unlikely to be under threat, given their expansive and highly-qualified skillset, but the implications for businesses of the future are certainly interesting.
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Keeping with the theme of business knowledge and planning, today's blog revisits some tutor advice on good commercial awareness. We also have a refresher on using the CABLE platform and show how you can work on your leadership skills by watching your favourite TV show!
During block one of TPE classes, we introduced you to commercial awareness as part of your studies. This is a key requirement of a good and competent CA in order to provide value-added business advice.
CABLE is the online learning tool designed to guide you through course material. Nena and Roddy from the ICAS CABLE team bring you their top tips for getting the most from this great resource.
Leadership lessons can be found in unexpected places. The top TV hit, Game of Thrones, portrays a collection of families trying to fight their way to the ruling seat, but amongst the fiction lies some truthful advice for leaders.
Monday 16 October: How does human behaviour influence economics?
The 2017 Nobel Prize equivalent in Economics has been awarded to Professor Richard Thaler - a leading authority in behavioural economics and, more importantly, a former co-star of Selena Gomez!
Professor Thaler's work examines how human behaviour influences financial decision-making and the wider economy as a whole. For example, he is well-known for coining the term 'nudge theory' to explain the influence of small interactions and subtle manipulations pushing individuals into what seem to be gut-reactions, but are actually the result of clever marketing or behavioural influence.
According to the Nobel committee: "By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control, [Professor Thaler] has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes."
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is not technically a 'Nobel Prize' but carries much of the same prestige and is often considered the highest honour in the field.
Professor Thaler is one of the more well-known recipients of the award, having co-authored several of the most popular economics books of recent years, including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness and Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics.
In 2015, he made a cameo appearance in The Big Short, a film following four finance workers as they try to profit from the 2008 economic crisis before it happens. Professor Thaler briefly explains the 'hot hand fallacy' concept to the audience in a scene alongside former Disney star Selena Gomez, illustrating the impact behavioural psychology can have on financial decisions.
Get in touch
What is your opinion on behavioural economics? Do you think human psychology has a big impact on the financial world, or is it all about the numbers? Tell us on Twitter @ICAS_students or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today's blog focusses on TPE as we turn the spotlight on business issues - refresh your knowledge on product recall case studies with input from your tutors. We also consider the future of regulation as more digital tools emerge in the sector to support compliance activities.
Are you familiar with how to analyse business issues and what you should look out for in terms of skills practice?
“All publicity is good publicity” – it’s a phrase that’s often used, but it doesn’t always hold true. For example, the newspaper headlines in 2016 were full of puns relating to Mars chocolate, “Mars barred” being one of the most striking.
Regulation understanding and adherence is a key component of a CAs expertise and of the financial sector as a whole. Now it has joined the ever-expanding list of specialisms getting a technological makeover with the rise of 'RegTech'.
Thursday 12 October: MoneyBox on tax and changes
How much has tax changed in 40 years? Do the same challenges face accountants today as in 1977? The BBC's Money Box podcast offers a unique opportunity to reflect on how far the profession has come and what has remained the same.
Sir William Pile, Chairman of the Board of the Inland Revenue (now HMRC), was the first ever interviewee featured on Money Box when the show originally aired on BBC Radio 4. He spoke to presenters Louise Botting and Peter Hobday about the impact of inflation, simplifying the complexities of assessment and the public perception of the taxman.
Listen to a panel of experts discuss Sir William's point of view and compare today's issues in accounting.
Get in touch
What do you think has been the biggest development in tax in the last 40 years? Will Making Tax Digital change the landscape entirely? Tell us your thoughts at email@example.com or on Twitter @ICAS_students.
In today's blog, your tutors offer their advice for getting the most out of the resources on CABLE. We also round up some handy apps for CA students and reflect on the leadership lessons for the future we took away from the ICAS Young Leaders Summit in September.
We round up the best five apps for CA students - from apps that help you stay focused while studying, to a handy guide to accounting terms.
How well do you work with CABLE? The online learning platform is integral to your CA studies but could you be using its resources more effectively? Your tutors share their top tips for making the most of CABLE.
Traditional skills are no longer enough to succeed as a leader in this new world. In the Young Leaders Summit Lightning Session on Next Gen Leadership Skills, we heard on how global mindsets, technological savvy and business agility should be harnessed for current and future generations to realise potential.
Monday 9 October: The Monarch collapse explained in numbers
Monarch Airlines entered administration last week after 50 years of business for the UK travel company. What factors drove the financial strain that grounded Monarch's planes for good?
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Today's blog is all about getting you in the right mindset. We talk to tutors about the importance of mental health while gearing up for exams, investigate how best to handle workplace hierarchies and attitudes, and get geared up for TPE.
You have done the study work and practiced your case studies, but what about tackling the TPE exam on the day? TPE level controller Cat Devaney shares her timely advice on how to tackle questions and pick up extra marks.
Many young people find themselves unprepared for office politics, according to a study by the Co-op. A surprisingly high 54% of those surveyed said that they were not prepared for, or as informed as they would like to be, about how to handle politics in the workplace.
Thursday 5 October: Do you aim to be a CFO after qualification?
In a recent article in The CA magazine, Editor Robert Outram talked to CFOs about what actions can be taken for others looking to apply for this role. Ian Swanson CA, CFO with Delicato Family Vineyards in Napa, California, believes that soft skills are crucial:
“Up to this role you were a technical adviser adding to the business discussions. As CFO you are playing a leading role in the business discussions, with an expertise in finance. You are no longer leading with your technical skills; those are just the lens you use to manage and direct the business,” Ian explained.
The nine essential steps
EY’s Finance Forte study, based on interviews with CFOs, identified nine key steps for CFOs to take, to ensure they are prepared for the challenges of the role at group level. They are:
1. Gain a breadth of finance experience.
2. Develop commercial insight.
3. Seek out M&A experience.
4. Obtain a balance of traditional and non-traditional skills, including the “soft skills” of building relationships with colleagues and external stakeholders.
5. Develop leadership skills.
6. Get international exposure.
7. Gain experience of finance transformation initiatives.
8. Gain exposure to the markets and stakeholders.
9. Build effective relationships with the board.
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In today's blog, we tackle how to improve your learning style in a large class and hear from ICAS President, Sir Brian Souter, on how valuable the CA qualification is, at all stages of your career. We also continue this week's look at building health with an examination of nootropics (vitamins, supplements, and the much riskier 'smart' drugs), reflecting on their rise amongst professionals.
Cognitive-enhancing drugs have hit the headlines as the new way to tackle work and study with an unstoppable zest. But what are they, and what do they do?
Our class sizes vary throughout the country, but each individual is sure to have a preferred learning style and setting to make the most out of their time - here are our tips for taking on any learning environment, whether it's with ICAS or in-house company training.
In this short video, discover why Sir Brian Souter, ICAS President, and Stagecoach Co-Founder believes the CA Qualification provides life-long value and can be used in your career at any stage.
Monday 1 October: How are you coping with the Uber ban in London?
Transport for London recently announced that they will not be renewing the taxi app's licence, due to not meeting the standards of passenger safety.
Tom Elvidge, General Manager of Uber in London, responded: “By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.”
Further stories emerged later in the week, announcing that Uber would try to overturn a ruling on granting employee rights to drivers, by insisting the company practices do not fall under the 'gig economy' due to their position as an 'agent' for drivers. If the rights were to be enforced, the troubled company would need to pay minimum wage and holidays to their drivers.
Uber lawyers said: “The driver is in no sense in an employment relationship. Rather, Uber acts as the driver’s agent, in referring passengers to him … for [which] it receives payment [for] each trip.”
The situation brings a whole host of business and employment issues to the fore, and offers food for thought for any emerging start-ups on how to manage contractual arrangements and guarantee the safety of consumers (or a due responsibility to anyone using their service or product); important for any budding entrepreneur to keep in mind!
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In today's blog, we feature a look at non-controlling interests in our Back to Basics series for Financial Reporting students, take a quick look at how to start preparing for the TPE exam (it's never too early!), and emphasise the importance of a good rest to keep a healthy head on your shoulders. Happy studying and snoozing!
Success is just around the corner for our students and we know that you will do your utmost to achieve your qualification at every turn. If you have finished block 2 of TPE then take some time to digest these tutor tips by Level Controller Cat Devaney on how to prepare for the exam.
A recent study has revealed that sleep deprivation can result in Alzheimer's disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes, but a 24-hour society and increasing sleep problems mean that we have left behind our established patterns and filled the market with energy-boosting products. Try these five tips for a better rest.
We go back to basics on non-controlling interests (‘NCI’) from the FR consolidation modules. Students often ask: What are non-controlling interests and is there a way to remember if I am crediting or debiting it in a consolidation question? Ally Millar, FR subject controller explains.
Thursday 28 September: CA demographics revealed
The most - and least - popular baby names of 2016 have been revealed with Oliver and Olivia topping the rankings in England and Wales. But which names are most associated with CAs?
Research by CA Today in 2015 revealed that David and Jennifer were the most popular names for CAs in the UK and beyond. The titles placed 43rd and 246th respectively in this year's baby charts.
You can use this interactive chart from the Telegraph to find out how widely bestowed your own name was last year. In the meantime, check out this information on CA demographics:
Get in touch
In today's blog, we continue our Back to Basics on costing methods to help you get to grips with the subject for Business Management. Our new TC students are getting to grips with new materials and potentially a new way of studying, so take a look at our advice for where and how to study for success!
In the second part of our back to basics on costing, we delve into the other types of costing methods that are available to businesses (and explained in the CA qualification). This is a helpful look at methodologies for any business management refreshers.
Self-directed study is key to completing your ICAS qualification and associated modules, but even for the best of us this can be a difficult task to achieve in a structured matter. We investigate approaches for organising the most effective study space.
You will have a lot of notes to hand during your time studying to become a CA. It's important to stay on top, so try these five ways to get your study notes organised.
Monday 25 September: What made the modern economy?
Tutor Matt Gorrie explains why a new BBC series is great material for financial accounting students:
The BBC is currently running a series of ’50 things that made the modern economy’, where they examine some of the key historical developments which made the modern economic system as we know it.
As students of FA will know, an effective accounting system is essential to any financial system. This nine-minute podcast looks at the development of the double entry system by Luca Pacioli in 1494, reflecting the growth of complex financial institutions in medieval Europe. Bookkeeping is an essential knowledge for CA students, and it's exciting to think we're over 500 years into the process without much change!
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In today's blog, we're encouraging you to get stuck into revision with the BM basics of costing and our guide to the titles and terms that you may encounter during your time with ICAS. We also take a look at FinTech's figurative cousin in the property sector to see what it's all about.
There are several topics that are likely come to mind when students think back to their good old Business Management (BM) Days. A straw poll of former BM students revealed that absorption and marginal costing still give some nightmares! But have no fear, our guide breaks this down into manageable steps.
In the same way that the recruitment sector has been forever altered by online services, businesses like Rightmove and Zoopla are threatening a total overhaul of the real estate industry with PropTech.
Like many organisations, ICAS has its own set of terms and acronyms. At first, they can seem bewildering. Here’s a handy list of the most commonly used expressions and phrases you’ll come across when you start your training.
Thursday 21 September: Clothing for confidence at work
EY and PwC embrace professional dress code, according to a new global survey from salary benchmarking site Emolument.com.
Professionals from around the world answered questions relating to standards of dress at their firms and two Big Four firms were revealed to have the most specific requirements for employees.
EY was reported by respondents as the organisation most likely to limit the colour choices of workers' outfits; two-thirds of participants from EY said that suit and tie/jacket and heel combinations are compulsory at all times. Nearly 10% of PwC employees confirmed similar restrictions with regards to colourful clothing.
Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & CMO at Emolument.com said: "The debate rages on: is dressing to impress still relevant? In some sectors, a sharp look is still important, especially in jobs such as asset management where professionals provide a service and must exude confidence and reliability."
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In today's blog, we sum up some of the more technical aspects of TC and TPS with a refresher on the books of prime entry and the influence of tax on behaviour. We also examine the responsibilities of Directors when it comes to Business Law.
Monday 18 September: What you may have missed at the Young Leaders Summit
CAs flocked to London last week to attend the inaugural ICAS Young Leaders Summit. Keynote speaker Kate Robertson, Founder of One Young World, shared why accountancy could hold the key to solving global issues, especially those linked to corrupt activities.
Ahead of Thursday's event, we invited Kate and 2015 One Young CA Indy Hothi, for an ideas exchange on what it means to be a young leader in today's world.
Watch below to find out why Kate believes CAs work at the coalface of conquering global issues, such as cheating on carbon emissions, and why they are integral to introducing standards and transparency within legal frameworks that allow for limited self-regulation.
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In today's blog, we cover the basics of using your Casio Fx85 calculator and walk through the steps of Internal Rate of Return (IRR). We also have some advice for improving your memory - handy for networking and all that TC terminology!
The calculator is one of the most important tools you will use during your time as a CA student, besides your brain. Our education team share their tips and tricks for getting the most out of the CA calculator of choice.
Ever been stuck for words when introducing someone at work or a conference? Their name becomes a fleeting memory and dances on the tip of your tongue, despite only meeting them five seconds previously. If this happens to you, then you need these tips for perfecting the art of remembering names.
We have a great step-by-step breakdown of the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for TC students embarking on their Finance classes. This is also helpful revision material for those studying TPS.
Thursday 14 September: Reminder: Get your BE1 completed
Have you completed your Business Ethics 1 component yet? It's due by 31 October 2017.
Business Ethics is a compulsory course completed over three components, the first of which is an interactive CABLE learning day. You must have completed this by the end of your training year but the date of receiving materials varies by type of training contract.
The BE1 material will be available on your CABLE workspace alongside your TC / TPS course materials. Deadline for completion is 31 October in the year following your enrolment, although early completion is encouraged.
This is a compulsory part of your CA qualification.
Get in touch
Do you have any questions about your BE1 component? Are there other reminders you'd like to see on the blog? Let us know at the CA Student Blog by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @ICAS_students.
In today's blog, we revisit some tried and tested methods of keeping you on top of your studies as exams approach. Find out how to pull together your achievement log, make sure you're making full use of practice questions and stay motivated as the end of the year comes into sight.
Your achievement log is not a hurdle at the end of training - it is your personal account of everything you’ve learned and achieved at your training firm. Here are some useful tips and tricks to help make completing your achievement log that little bit easier.
Practice questions are an essential part of your studies. Here’s how to get the most from using them for mocks or the real thing.
Whether you are at TC, TPS or TPE level, finding (and keeping!) the motivation to keep going can be a challenge. However, with the right drive, you are much more likely to go the extra mile with your studies and be more focused on your success. Here are six ways you can boost your motivation levels.
Monday 11th September: UK universities topping the global charts
Oxford and Cambridge top the global university charts but fears have surfaced that studying in the UK will become less attractive for international students as Brexit looms.
The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2018 report two UK universities taking both the first and second place slots for the first time. All but one of the UK's Russell Group of 24 higher education bodies appear in the top 200.
Universities are scored annually according to; the quality of teaching and research, the number of featured citations, the amount of industry income generated, and international outlook. The rankings are audited by PwC.
Vice-Chancellor of the Univerisity of Oxford, Professor Louise Richardson, said: "To be judged the best university in the world for the second successive year, against a backdrop in which Britain’s role in the world is uncertain and the place of universities in society open to question, will be a great source of pride for everyone at Oxford, and, I hope, for the whole country."
These results were released just a week after research from the Office for National Statistics suggested that the number of non-EU students remaining illegally in the UK after graduation is not as high as previously believed. The government's Migration Advisory Committee has launched a review into the societal and economic impact of international students studying in the UK.
At present, EU funding contributes around a fifth of Oxford's research grants and a quarter of the University of Cambridge's.
2018 World University Rankings: THE
|1||University of Oxford, UK|
|2||University of Cambridge, UK|
|= 3||California Institute of Technology, USA|
|= 3||Stanford University, USA|
|5||Massachussetts Institute of Technology, USA|
|6||Harvard University, USA|
|7||Princeton University, USA|
|8||Imperial College London, UK|
|9||University of Chicago, USA|
|= 10||ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland|
In today's blog, we focus in on exam time as one of our TPE examiners shares their advice for good business writing and we take a look at why mock exams can be so useful. We also examine some common career mistakes for young professionals to help you stay ahead of the curve.
A successful CA must have excellent communication skills; one of our TPE examiners looks at how better business writing can improve your performance in the TPE exam.
Millennial employees are a growing demographic within the workforce, however, the job market is quite possibly more competitive than ever and banking on the appeal of 'new talent' may not be enough. What career missteps should you be avoiding?
Mock exams and tests of progress are a key indicator of how well you understand and can communicate the material of your course. Ahead of the real exam, make sure you are using these opportunities to achieve your full potential.
Thursday 7th September: Should all leaders embrace diversity?
How important is diversity to effective leadership? This is one of the many questions we'll be seeking to answer at the exclusive ICAS Young Leaders Summit in London, 14 September 2017.
Get in touch
How does your workplace promote diversity? Do you have any ideas you would like to express on the blog on how you would action a plan to increase diversity within the profession? Write to us at email@example.com or tweet @ICAS_students.
In today's blog, we have put together the ultimate TC welcome pack! For all our new lovely students, we have a feature on how to make the transition from a university-style of learning to Test of Competence, and introduce all the terms you are likely to encounter in your first year. We also look at the five study habits you should rid from your life for a successful learning experience.
TC Level Controller, Joanne Lloyd-Jones introduces the TC level for new students and discusses how to navigate the course to your best advantage.
Different studying styles work for different people - you may favour highlighters, post-it notes or just good old reading and repetition. But are your studying habits working against you?
To help with your TC revision, we've put together a glossary of important terms to use as an aid. Remember that your course materials and notes from class are invaluable resources too!
Monday 4th September: Hasta la vista PPI!
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has chosen an unlikely candidate to star in a £42m advertising initiative, two years ahead of saying "hasta la vista" to PPI for good.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been hired as the face of a new marketing campaign to raise awareness about the deadline to claim compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).
Members of the public have until 29 August 2019 to find out whether they are entitled to a refund. New measures have also made it possible for customers who previously had a claim rejected to receive some recompense if the provider in question earned a high commission from selling PPI.
Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the FCA, said: “Our campaign aims to cut through the noise on PPI. We want to encourage people to decide whether to find out if they had PPI and whether to complain or not. Our message, and Arnie’s, is ‘do it now’ and I urge people to make a decision before the deadline on 29 August 2019."
The 18 banks, building societies, and credit card providers, have the largest number of PPI complainants and are funding the campaign and have also agreed to several new measures to make the process of submitting a PPI complaint easier for customers. These include:
- An online complaints system;
- simplified paperwork;
- extra support for vulnerable customers;
- and free PPI checking processes.
Over £27.4bn has been claimed so far in the UK on PPI policies sold with loans, credit cards, store cards and mortgages over two decades.
In today's blog, cook up a storm for the time-pressed, take a peek behind the scenes at CABLE and provide a comprehensive glossary for TPS!
We continue our series of healthy quick-cook / prepare meals for CA Students on the go. Free your time for studying, work, or pleasure!
You’ll be familiar with CABLE, the CA Blended Learning Environment, as it forms a crucial part of some courses and is an essential study resource for others. Here, eLearning Instructional Designer Roddy Munro gives you a peep behind the scenes at CABLE.
To help with your TPS revision, we've put together a glossary of important terms to use as an aid. A more in-depth guide to common abbreviations and phrases can be found in your course materials.