The welcome return of the ICAS Admission Ceremony
ICAS President Bruce Pritchard CA congratulates the newly qualified CAs ahead of this year’s Admission Ceremony and shares the lessons of his career
On 26 March, at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, ICAS will host its first in-person Admission Ceremony since the pandemic began. Both for us and the new CAs we’ll be welcoming to the profession, it’s a marker of the progress made in the past two years. Our students have continued to work hard as the world around them has changed and tested their resilience, enabled by a swift transition to digital learning and examinations.
At ICAS, we are incredibly proud of the dedication and achievement of our students and the support offered by their training firms. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting our newly qualified CAs on the day. Along with the great privilege of officially welcoming them into ICAS membership, there are a few messages I want to share with the graduating class.
The first is that ICAS isn’t just about providing a qualification – it’s about joining a community and a supportive network. Qualifying as a CA may be the culmination of one journey, but really it’s the beginning of another. As well as the vital services, resources and events that ICAS provides, there has been an instant affinity with other CAs that I have met during my working life. You now have something in common with 23,000 business professionals across the globe. Wherever you work and whatever sector you choose, there will be another CA ready to help.
On the other side of the coin, ICAS dedicates much time and resource to maintaining that network and ensuring that all CAs have access to the information they need to thrive. In addition to the hard work of the ICAS staff, CAs themselves have an important role to play here. ICAS thrives on the contribution of its members, and I would encourage all CAs to think of it as their institute. It’s up to us to shape how we want it to work. I’ve been very fortunate to be directly involved in the running of ICAS for the past 20 years, shaping its direction and gaining an understanding of its organisational governance at an early stage in my career. If you have a point of view that you would like to share, step up and step forward – your voice will be welcomed.
Last, and perhaps most important, is the role each and every CA has in upholding the reputation of the accountancy profession. There’s a responsibility that goes with the badge. And part of being a community is that our actions reflect on one another. As a custodian of the CA title, you now have a duty to protect the integrity of the profession: acting in the public interest, painting a fair and true picture of the world around you and maintaining the highest standards of professional ethics and technical rigour. Accountancy can only thrive when business and the wider public have confidence in our ability to uphold those values. Being a CA is not a right, but a privilege we must work hard to maintain. So think carefully about how you use your influence.
As President of ICAS, the highlights of the past year have been the opportunities I get to meet fellow members, whether that’s online or in person. The Admission Ceremony is my favourite of all the events ICAS holds. It is invigorating to welcome new talent and witness accounting’s continuing health.
When I qualified back in 1996, I certainly didn’t expect that I would myself be officially welcoming new CAs to ICAS 26 years later. And I hope it shows that engaging with ICAS throughout your career will prove to be an incredibly fulfilling experience. And to all those qualifying, I’d like to extend my warm congratulations.
Booking for the 2022 Admission Ceremony closed on Friday 11 March.