TPE: Improving your commercial awareness in five steps

Are you commercially aware?
By Catherine Devaney, TPE Level Controller

1 April 2019

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. Here are five quick-fire tips on how to be commercially aware:

The term ‘commercial awareness’ refers to; your knowledge of business; the impact this will have on the industry you work in; and the clients you are doing work for.

Commercial awareness needs to be advanced over time. You have started to develop your commercial awareness through your ICAS education and it will continue to develop as you progress through TPE to become newly qualified CAs and advance your career.

During class, we discuss tips to improve your commercial awareness and how it can be applied in any type of business situation to allow you to know your employer / client and their business.

Here are five quick-fire tips on how to be commercially aware:

1. Keep up to date with industry

  • Business press
  • Professional bodies
  • Social media – blogs, networking groups

2. Know the organisation

  • Values
  • Read the annual report
  • Internal communications
  • Customers

3. Know competitors

  • Check how they are performing

4. Understand the economic environment

  • Changes impact customers / supplier spending habits

5. Understand changes in society

  • Impacts what products / services market wants

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