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.

January 2018

Monday 15 January: Why did businesses swap from production-led to consumer-led models?

'The customer is always right.' We've all heard this nugget of business philosophy and, regardless of whether it is necessarily right, we undeniably live in a world dictated by the consumer.

In another edition of the BBC's 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy podcast, presenter Tim Harford investigates why industry and business switched their models from production-led supply to consumer-led demand.

Charles Coolidge Parlin, thought to be the first proponent of market research, noted as early as 1914 that retailers had to change their thinking from what they think they can do to what the customer wants. The US car industry, for example, would continue to struggle with demand unless they took a risk and produced more vehicles than they could immediately sell.

Now, market research is a huge industry in and of itself, and no business would think of launching a new product without conducting a consumer evaluation. TC students learn about Marketing and Pricing Strategies in BM, with reference to using market research to ascertain customer demand and pricing decisions. Revisit module 9 for more info, and check out this podcast for some great background as to how today's marketing approach evolved.

Listen now on the BBC iPlayer Radio or download for free on iTunes.

Get in touch

What do you want to see on the CA Student Blog in 2018? Let us know on Twitter @ICAS_students or email studentblog@icas.com.

In today's blog, your tutors get back to basics on PAYE formulas and understanding deductions, and we look at the panic buying of Irn-Bru and what this has to do with TC business management. We've also made a handy infographic to help you get your desk in order and bring productive zen to your life!

Back to Basics: Understanding PAYE deductions

Following the festive season, we go back to basics on understanding pay packet deductions, at a time when most people are looking for ways to tighten their purse strings. A useful skill for all employees, we explore the process as covered in Principles of Tax.

Five things you need on your desk right now

Can a few small changes to your desk improve your productivity? Browse our infographic for ideas to brighten up your workspace and keep your mind on track.

Panic buying: why a new fizz tizz is about business management

There was one BBC News story on 4 January that made Business Management subject controller and TPE lecturer Lauren O’Brien smile; the panic buying of fizzy juice. The concepts of supply and demand are covered in TC finance, so find out what has prompted this unusual behaviour!


Thursday 11 January: The business issues you won't learn about

Did you read our ten weirdest business stories from 2017? There is more to risk management than ensuring smooth supply chains and accounting for natural wastage - these following businesses were hit by odd issues that most CAs would find hard to predict!

In October 2017, a leopard halted production at India’s Maruti Suzuki plant

In a strange turn of events, a leopard entered India's largest car manufacturing plant for 36 hours in early October, causing the plant to temporarily cease production and enlist Jurassic Park style tactics to lure the beast. After filling cages with live goats and pushing them into the Manesar factory (as well as a failed attempt with crackers), the wildlife department managed to tranquilise and safely remove the car-keen cat. In total, the plant - which usually produces 5,000 petrol and diesel engines every day - lost tens of thousands in labour hours and revenue.

In November, a broadband company discovered their broadband profits were being munched

The $36bn broadband network in Australia was under attack from cockatoos who have taken a liking to chewing the cabling. In total, the cost of repairing steel-braid wires has resulted in an $80,000 bill for NBN Co, and could rise as the network roll-out continues into 2021. Gisela Kaplan, animal behaviour professor at the University of New England reported to Reuters: “Cockatoos usually go for wood, or strip the bark off trees. They don’t usually go for cables. But it might be the color or the position of the cables that’s attracted them.”

Get in touch

Are you nearing the end of your qualification with ICAS? Now is the time to start raising your profile in the global community, so why not start with contributions to the Student Blog? Whatever you would like to write an article about, don't hesitate to get in touch on Twitter @ICAS_students or email studentblog@icas.com, and we'll put you in the spotlight!

In today's blog, we help get you prepared for moving up to TPE with important info on dates to note and where to find briefing updates. We also look at the new year's resolutions to adopt as a CA student and outline when students should consider asking for help (hint: whenever you need it!).

Eight new year resolutions for CA students

Fresh out of ideas for your New Year's resolutions? Here are eight targets for CA students to meet in 2018.

When students should ask for help

The pace is fast and the subject matter complex when you’re training to be a CA. However, if you feel you’re struggling, there are a few steps you can take to get back on track.

Preparing for TPE

Are you starting TPE this year? A new briefing will be available from 22 Jan, outlining the key changes taking place with exams and course materials. The TPE May exam is sat under the 2018 syllabus, so be sure to read the briefing - updated material will be available from 29 Jan within your CABLE workspace. In the meantime, get to grips with the changes of moving from TPS to TPE with this great article by TPE level Controller Cat Devaney.


Monday 8 January: New year, new bank account?

Thinking of switching your current account? New rules from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should make it easier to find the best deal.

Banks and other providers of personal and business current accounts will soon be required to publish not only practical details of their processes but also how secure and customer-friendly they are.

The FCA measures come after a consultation on whether consumers were able to make informed decisions about their finances. It is hoped that by making this information more widely available, quality of service and competition within the market will improve.

Under the new rules, prospective customers will have access to:

  • contact details and opening hours for services and helplines
  • how long it takes to open a current account
  • how long it takes to have a debit card replaced
  • the number of major security incidents reported
  • the number of customer complaints

Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, said: “We want to see current account providers competing hard for their customers’ business by offering better service, alongside competition on interest and charges. These rules will help people see how their bank compares to others so they can choose an account that suits their needs."

The FCA's decision has been welcomed by the Building Society Association (BSA) and UK Finance as a positive move for vulnerable customers who require additional support from their account provider.

Get in touch

Is this a good thing for consumers? What will this mean for banks? Share your thoughts on Twitter @ICAS_students or email studentblog@icas.com.

In today's blog, we look forward to welcoming you at the ICAS Winter Social on 11 Jan, check out five essential student tips for the new year, and explain how being a positive force in the office could boost your career prospects.

Pluses of positivity

A positive work environment has a proven measurable impact on improving productivity, creativity and motivation. But what can you do as an individual to positively influence your career?

Join us at the ICAS Winter Social this Thursday

The ICAS Winter Social, bringing CAs and students together for an evening of networking and conversation, takes place on 11 January 2018 at the Trapeze Bar in London. Please note: If you are a new student and interested in attending, please register by emailing Jess Date jdate@icas.com. We hope to see you there!

Five student tips for the new year

As we ease into the new year, it’s all too easy for previous worries to resurface after the holidays. You may need to move away from a relaxation frame of mind, but there’s no need to reduce the chilled-out factor. Here are quick-fire tips for starting your year right and with success in mind.

December 2017

Monday 18 December: Does reverse ageism happen in modern business?

Do you feel like you aren't taken seriously at the office? New research reports that 76% of 25-34-year-olds in the UK feel discriminated against at work for being 'too young'.

A survey by recruitment website CV-Library has revealed that over two-thirds (70.8%) of workers in the UK feel they have experienced some form of age discrimination from colleagues or interviewers. For younger workers between 25-34 years old, the number rises to 76%.

One of the most common complaints from this age group is a struggle to be taken seriously, regardless of position or experience. At the other end of the scale, 88.9% of 45-54-year-olds feel they are dismissed unfairly due to their age. One in five workers in this age bracket may be losing out on opportunities because they are considered 'too set in their ways'. For example:

Despite being a recent graduate, because I was a mature student I’m not getting offered the same amount of jobs that younger people on my course are.

Nearly a third of professionals said they have been turned down for a job because of their age.

Lee Biggins, Founder and Managing Director of CV-Library, said: “It’s clear that discrimination around age is not only rife in workplaces, but also during the hiring process. But, while employers may think their pickiness will secure them the very best workers, they’re actually limiting themselves even further. Younger, and older, workers are a key part of driving our economy forward and companies should embrace a diverse range of employees in their business.”

If you go on to start your business a few years down the line, how might you form your hiring policy, and what factors will influence it?

Get in touch

Have you ever felt too young or too old for a position? Do you feel taken seriously at work?Tell us on Twitter @ICAS_students or email studentblog@icas.com.

In our last blog the year, we look at some of the recent developments around Brexit and what leaving the single market actually means. We also continue our Back to Basics refresh of costing and tell you how to write for success on LinkedIn - the upcoming holidays are an ideal time to tinker with your profile. We'll be back on 8 January with plenty more hints and tips for study success!

The joys of costing: part 2 | Back to basics

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 whether you are beginning your BM TC studies, or if you just need a refresh.

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?

What happens if we leave the single market?

Britain's business landscape will, without a doubt, be a very different place in five years' time. As the latest reports from Brussels signal progress in setting out a plan for the post-Brexit UK, we examine one of the main points of economic contention: membership of the single market.


Thursday 14 December: Why LLCs were a pivotal innovation and widened opportunities for the classes

The normalising of limited liability companies (LLC) in the early and mid-1800s popularised business investment among the general public and paved the way for modern capitalism as we know it.

In this segment of the BBC's 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy podcast, Tim Harford examines the history of LLCs and the profound effect they have had on our economic structure.

Prior to limited-liability laws, investing in a company and trading shares was a business reserved solely for the very wealthy. Shareholders either knew the entrepreneurs they were funding personally or could easily afford to lose their money if the company succumbed to debt.

LLCs changed that by offering a corporate structure that absolves shareholders of any personal legal responsibility for their company's debts. PoT students will be familiar with the concept of an LLC from Module 3 and explore the corporation tax implications in Module 9.

Listen now on the BBC iPlayer Radio or download for free on iTunes.

Get in touch

Is the LLC model still sustainable? What is your opinion on shareholder liability? Tell us @ICAS_students or email studentblog@icas.com.

We look at the dangers of using public wi-fi networks for personal and professional online activity in today's blog - how often do you log on? Costing is also a theme as we refresh your knowledge on the methods introduced in BM and find out which of your favourite snacks have been hit by shrinkflation.

Is using public wi-fi safe?

We all use public wi-fi networks at some point in our lives but with laptops and mobiles becoming an essential part of the modern business world, we have to ask - just how safe is public wi-fi?

What is shrinkflation and why is it increasing?

Fluctuations in currency values, particularly in the post-Brexit result pound (GBP), have led to several retailers and consumer goods companies compensating for losses by cutting the size of their products without reducing the price.

Back to Basics: The joys of costing 

Looking ahead to FR classes in January, we look at the cost of inventory using absorption costing, while having an awareness of fixed and variable costs. With that in mind, let's go back to basics on the different costing methods and modules introduced in BM.


Monday 11 December: New development in Apple's Irish tax case

Technology giant Apple has pledged to pay €13bn of taxes to Ireland while still pushing back against the European courts.

In August 2016, the European Commission ruled that an ongoing tax agreement between Apple and the Irish government was illegal under state aid guidelines. The company was ordered to repay the equivalent of £11.4bn in undue tax breaks.

Both the Irish government and Apple appealed against the decision, a process which is still ongoing. This means that the money, the first instalment of which is expected in Q1 2018, will be paid into a blocked escrow account and may be tied up in legal proceedings for some time.

The agreement comes after Ireland was referred to the European Court of Justice in October of this year for failing to pursue the unpaid taxes, a move that the government has seemingly been reluctant to make with the implications that forcing Ireland's hand could have for wider multinational corporate tax.

Other EU countries have been watching the developments with interest. Luxembourg, whose economy also depends on significant business from multinational companies who enjoy low tax rates in the country, has voiced support for Ireland's appeal, while Poland last week became the first to officially indicate opposition.

Get in touch

Do you think Apple should be made to pay the extra taxes? What impact could this have on international business in Ireland? Let us know on Twitter @ICAS_students or email studentblog@icas.com.


In today's blog, we look at how you should handle a clash with a colleague and other difficult workplace situations. We also give advice to help you narrow down the best way to take notes in class and explore the different superstitions that surround numbers and money around the world.

How to manage workplace conflict

Ever experienced a day where everyone at work seemed to simultaneously get out of bed on the wrong side? Conflict in the workplace is common, but how do we deal with this conflict when contracts, probation or more is lingering in the background?

Top 5 ways to take notes

It’s time to take your note-taking skills to the next level. Investigate and experiment with these five methods for yourself, as well as specialist easy-to-read fonts for people with dyslexia.

Superstitions about making money

‘Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck’: We investigate superstitions around generating money and how they relate to different cultures. Useful for anyone considering a career abroad after qualification.


Thursday 7 December: How will a 5p saving create cash deserts in the UK?

In the same year that cash machines celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Link network has announced plans to cut the fees charged to card providers for withdrawals. The move could put one in five free-to-use machines at risk of closure, giving rise to fears of 'ATM deserts' in the UK.

Currently, an interchange fee of approximately 25p is charged to the 38 UK card providers who are part of the Link auto teller machine (ATM) network for each transaction. This cost is calculated by dividing the annual total running costs of the machines.

Link, the company that operates and maintains the UK's ATMs, plan to reduce those running costs and cut the fee paid by network members to around 20p.

However, the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) has argued that the closures necessary to put this plan into action could put 10,000 of the country's 55,000 free-to-use ATMs at risk. This is especially concerning for small towns and rural areas that have already been impacted by recent local bank branch closures.

Ron Delnevo, ATMIA Executive Director for Europe, said in a statement: "Make no mistake, the proposed reductions in LINK Interchange may well lead to a vast reduction in free access to cash for British citizens and businesses. Any money saved by a tiny number of banks, which some estimates put at tens of millions of pounds each year, will effectively be at the expense of already hard-pressed consumers.

"We already have thousands of bank branch deserts in the UK. The proposals for interchange reduction are likely to create ATM deserts, where communities will wither because there is no local convenient access to cash and other financial services."

As cashless transactions via mobile and contactless payments rise in popularity, small businesses that fail to adapt from their reliance on cash are being put at risk. The lobby group ATM Industry Association has asked for careful consideration of the impact of closures.

Get in touch

Do you think it's time for ATMs to be phased out? How will you be impacted? Tell us on Twitter @ICAS_students or email studentblog@icas.com.


In today's blog, we ask you to consider your health at work and on exam day. Find out how to keep fit from your office chair and what meals provide a crucial brain boost when it counts. We also introduce you to the range of digital magazines produced by ICAS for specialised communities of the membership.

Can you exercise in work?

Have you calculated how much time you spend sitting down? In lessons, at work, in the car, on the bus, on the sofa, horizontally in bed – what would that number look like for you? Find out why it's important to keep moving, and how deskercising can add to your life.

Choosing the best exam day breakfast

Your brain needs fat, water, vitamins, minerals and glucose (carbohydrates and sugar) - in that order. It might seem surprising that fat comes above water, but your brain couldn’t survive without a nourishing meal. Our quick-fire guide and links to easy recipes will take the stress out of nutritious eating for study and exams.

Keep up to date with the ICAS digital magazines

Did you know that ICAS produces five digital magazines for our communities? For those of you thinking about a career abroad, you can take advantage of CA North America and CA Australia, discussing the accountancy issues that affect the countries, how to handle international business and more. If you would like to stay up to date with tax, then try out CA Tax, which features articles from our very own Education Director and tax tutor, Fiona Winter, and lecturer Duncan McKellar.

If you're more likely to work in practice when you achieve the CA qualification, then there's a magazine for that too! CA Practice discusses insolvency, regulation and compliance - all of the issues that could affect you. And finally, we have CA Financial Services, dedicated to those working within the FS industry and tuned into relevant issues. If you would like to sign up to receive any of these magazines, then email catoday@icas.com specifying which magazines you would like to receive.


Monday 4 December: Feeling scammed by ticket touts?

Have you ever purchased a ticket for an event through a secondary source and been disappointed with the results? You aren't alone, according to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Online ticket touts like StubHub, Get Me In, Viagogo and Seatwave have been subject to a year-long investigation by the CMA to assess whether consumers are being conned or treated unfairly by sellers.

A lack of transparency surrounding the identity of individuals and businesses providing the tickets, the quality and real value of the products on offer, and 'pressure selling' techniques encouraging needlessly expensive purchases has been highlighted as a main concern for the authority.

Chief Executive of the CMA, Andrea Coscelli, commented: "Secondary ticketing websites can offer an important service - by allowing people the chance to buy tickets at the last minute or giving them a chance to re-sell tickets they can no longer use. But our investigation has identified concerns that the law protecting consumers is being broken.

"Thousands of people use these sites and they have a right to know if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door, who they’ve bought their ticket from or exactly what seat at the venue they’re getting for their money.

"We are putting our concerns to these websites and will be requiring the changes necessary to tackle them. We will use the full range of our powers to get the right outcome for these sites’ customers - including taking action through the courts if needed."

This is an interesting case to monitor in terms of real-world regulatory compliance and ethical conduct. Several of the websites involved in the investigation previously made promises to improve their practices, however, at least one has been proven negligent in following through, raising the issue of moral standards in business.

CA students at TPE level are asked to evaluate case studies as part of their Business Ethics Assignment (BEA). You should be thinking critically about news stories like this one and consider the issues involved in preparation.

Get in touch

We love to hear from you! Tweet @ICAS_students on Twitter or email studentblog@icas.com about any news stories that you think could be great for tying into the CA qualification for analysis.


In today's blog, you can refresh your knowledge of some common TC level turns of phrase and the key revision points of Assurance and Business Systems. We also offer some advice on maintaining a professional presence on social media - remember that the internet is forever!

Get to grips with your perfect social media account

Social media has become a staple of everyday life, and most of our readers will already have some sort of profile on a network. Read our quick guide to the dos and don'ts to ensure your digital interactions are plain-sailing.

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.

Glossary: Common terms in TC

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!

Topics

  • CA Student blog

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