CA magazine: February 2024
A storm of economic pressures has pushed social mobility down the list of business priorities. How can we make sure that this regression doesn’t continue?
In this edition of CA magazine we set out the business case for EDI, explain what ICAS is doing to widen the talent pool entering the profession and explore how CAs can champion inclusivity.
For chartered accountants entrenched in completing clients’ last-minute tax returns, social mobility – the cover story for this month’s issue – may not seem the most pressing of issues. But if you care about the future of the profession, and ever find yourself wondering where the next generation of CAs will come from, this is a subject that should be high up the agenda.
There are numerous reports highlighting a downturn in the number of students who are studying accountancy, and the possible consequences of that trend, especially for smaller practices. Reasons cited for the decline include the high cost of university study and a sense that a purpose-led Gen Z considers accounting to be an unattractive career option.
But the talent is out there. Last year saw a record number of applications to the ICAS Foundation, a charity that has helped a string of exceptionally capable people, who might otherwise have been lost to the profession, qualify as CAs. You can find out more about its hopes of boosting social mobility here.
The subject is also a central part of our new strategy, ICAS 2030. EDI Committee Chair, Tracey Rob Perera CA, explains the rationale behind it and makes the case that social mobility should matter to every business as much as it does to ICAS.
In 2022, two years after the EDI Committee was formed, we began our partnership with Rise, an accountancy-led social mobility initiative to equip schoolchildren with essential life skills. We provide volunteers to support sessions and develop relationships with schools in their local communities. If you represent one of our member firms and would like to get involved in Rise, please contact me on the email below.
We always impress upon students that the CA qualification is a passport for business. A fine example of this is the varied career of Mike Watson CA.
Enjoy the issue.
To learn more about Rise, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org