The many volunteering options open to ICAS members
From helping to run a charity, to mentoring a fellow CA and giving a hand up to the next generation, there are many ways in which ICAS members can volunteer their time and services.
Donate your expertise to charity
Charities’ objectives might not revolve around sales and profit, but they must still be run in a business-like manner. Indeed, some organisations have millions of pounds of revenue that must be wisely managed and spent, where every extra penny saved can be put to the benefit of a worthy cause.
Furthermore, the range of voluntary and honorary charity roles available to ICAS members are a great opportunity for a CA to utilise their qualification and experience to make a positive difference and give something back to wider society.
Your value to a charity could be in anything from providing accounting services on a pro-bono basis, to holding a role such as Treasurer. Utilising your business and management expertise, you might improve the ability to raise funds, plan business strategies, or deal with sector-specific issues such as charity accounting rules and VAT exemptions.
Volunteer as a mentor
A successful mentor can play a hugely important role in the life and career development of the person they help. Mentoring isn’t just about volunteering your skills, professional experience and access to your network, it involves motivating and empowering someone to overcome their obstacles, meet their challenges and turn ambition into success.
The mentoring process can be hugely rewarding on a purely personal level and can also be a great way to widen your networks and expose yourself to fresh challenges and working methods.
Good mentors tend to be self-aware, have adaptable communication skills and the desire to help others. If that sounds like you, and you’ve been a full ICAS member for 5 years or more, you’re eligible to become a mentor.
Volunteer with the ICAS Foundation
The ICAS Foundation is a charitable organisation that aims to support academically talented young people from disadvantaged communities into university through the provision of mentoring and financial assistance.
Volunteer to mentor with the Foundation and you’d work in a similar way to mentoring a professional, except in this case you’d be working with a high-school student or undergraduate who wants to attend university to study accounting or finance. It isn’t time-intensive, and usually involves two hour-long meetings in the first month, with various face-to-face meetings and email correspondence following from there, usually on a minimum quarterly basis.
And as with mentoring a qualified CA, volunteering as a mentor with the ICAS Foundation can be a highly rewarding experience for both mentor and the mentee.
ICAS boards & committees
ICAS is governed by its Council, which in turn delegates certain responsibilities to a range of boards, committees and panels whose remit covers everything from governance and operations, to qualifications, ethics and policy leadership. Membership of the boards, committees and panels is often broad and varied and aims to reflect the diversity found within the wider ICAS membership.
Volunteering your time to any of these bodies can be a great means of adding new insights and areas of skills and expertise to your portfolio. Furthermore, it enables you to play an active hand in shaping the future direction of travel of both ICAS and the wider CA profession.
Volunteer with the Public Sector Panel
A significant number of ICAS members work either with or for public-sector organisations, and through our Public Sector Panel we actively contribute to developments in related policy and financial reporting, with a remit that includes European, international, Scottish and UK issues.
By volunteering with the panel, you can have input to the areas of financial reporting, auditing, accounting, financial control and other topical areas related to the management, funding and delivery of public services. This could include considering national and international policy and approaches, and their application within relevant sectors, such as local government, central government, health, housing, and further and higher education.