ICAS Members Board Chair, Michael Kay CA, explains the aims of the Board and the benefits of involvement
As ICAS Members Board releases its annual report, Chair Michael Kay CA explains the benefits to be derived from an active, long-lasting engagement with ICAS
For some ICAS students, passing their exams signals the end of their involvement. They have, after many years of work and study, earned the CA designation, and the internationally recognised passport to business it affords. But, as ICAS Members Board Chair Michael Kay CA explains, the qualification should not be viewed as the end of their engagement with ICAS, but perhaps merely as the end of the beginning.
“We sometimes forget it takes a lot of effort to become a CA,” says Kay. “But also, it is something you have in common with every other student and member of ICAS. You have this fantastic network of 20,000-plus members around the world. While some CAs do use this to their advantage, most could use that network a great deal more than they do. You can easily connect with people who are open and willing to share their knowledge and experiences.”
One of the most rewarding ways to make these connections is through the ICAS Members Board. Here, the broad objective is to provide strategic direction, guidance, oversight and challenge to the member engagement work undertaken by ICAS. In practice, this means performing a key role in how ICAS communicates with members, ensuring their voices are heard and they can help to shape the future of their professional body.
“One thing we’re working on with ICAS is building a lifelong relationship with members,” says Kay. “So, if you’re doing something in your own firm on sustainability, or taking a career break, or coming back from maternity leave, what should you be looking out for? And what can ICAS do to help you?”
There will be young CAs who are currently dealing with pressures, whether from within their own organisation, from clients or both, to come up with solutions and help companies get through a difficult period. Becoming a board member means you are joining a group of CAs who bring a wealth of different experiences to the table. You will be in direct contact with people who may previously have been through much the same problems you now face.
In December 2022, the Members Board presents its annual report to Council. One of this year’s key developments has been identifying the four priority workstreams from which members and students derive the greatest value and ensuring the board focuses on those areas. The workstream working groups meet every quarter to update on progress and ensure that their projects are on track.
“Previously we had eight workstreams. We narrowed it down to four (below) because we thought that works better and brings increased focus. Then, if required, you can have smaller groups of people who get together more often. And we purposely structured each workstream to have a strong diversity mix,” says Kay.
Kay became Chair in 2020. “I still get a buzz out of it,” he says. “We’ve got a great bunch of people on our Members Board. And the best thing is they’re not afraid to give their views. We have developed an open culture in meetings; everyone contributes, and breakout room discussions have proved more effective than a simple ‘show and tell’. Having these working groups meet outside regular meetings has been good because that’s let people build new relationships. It’s great when you see the level of energy, and how it shapes what ICAS is doing. That’s the biggest positive for me.
“One thing that came out of a discussion group is the importance of building networks throughout your career. It’s all very well acquiring the technical expertise and gaining the qualification with ICAS. But for many, the way you get your next big job is not necessarily by being the technical expert. A lot comes down to building relationships and developing those networks. As your career develops, many of your future roles will come through your networks.
“Members Board exists to help ensure the interests of members and students are met. We want to hear views and suggestions from all, especially those who want to get more involved – you will help to shape the future of ICAS and also expand your own network.
“There are some very experienced people on the Members Board, with very diverse backgrounds, and even by just observing them in meetings, those who have recently qualified will pick up valuable lessons.”
“Gaining your CA qualification is only the start of the journey. With ongoing involvement, and taking full advantage of your CA network, it is a passport to a lifetime connection with ICAS.”
|WORKSTREAM||Strong networks||Member and student wellbeing||Professional development||Customer engagement|
|Alignment to ICAS strategic prorities||Engaging the profession||Sustainable organisation||World-class learning||Trusted by stakeholders and society|
Building strong and resilient networks around the globe.
This workstream incorporates:
Supporting the delivery of the EDI vision through a Members Board lens. As well as EDI, this workstream includes oversight of our mental fitness strategy which was launched in 2021.
It also develops and supports other initiatives linked to member and student wellbeing.
Member insights confirm that access to professional development (PD) resources is one of the key drivers of member satisfaction.
This workstream oversees the provision of PD resources for members.
This workstream focuses on improving the way we engage with and communicate to:
If you are interested in joining ICAS Members Board, contact firstname.lastname@example.org