ICAS President: Engagement and the CA journey
Two-way communication with members is an essential part of ICAS' strategy going forward, as Mike McKeon CA explains.
Any members’ organisation will only succeed over the longer term if there is engagement, mutual respect and support. As President, an important part of my role is to ensure the long-term success of ICAS. This is why a key focus area during my Presidency is member engagement. It must be a two-way process that does not support too many one-way streets for too long.
Beyond the CA qualification, we need to offer continuing professional education that is so relevant and easy to access that it drives members to “pull” the content into their busy lives, and not to rely solely on ICAS “pushing” it out. The speed of change in the requirements of our profession demands CPD to change at pace to remain relevant to all. We must meet this challenge of flexible and accessible learning.
None of this is easy; this is a journey, rather than a destination. I am encouraged that your Council and the ICAS Executive and staff are behind these aspirations and work is continuing to deliver an appropriate platform.
A key focus area during my Presidency is member engagement. It must be a two-way process that does not support too many one-way streets for too long.
Investments made in the new technology platform at ICAS allow us to better understand – and engage with – our members. New channels for sharing information will be opened, to both students and members, ultimately creating the possibility for new online networks. ICAS will leverage digital opportunities to connect the membership and provide value from the network, regardless of location.
This is what ICAS is looking to do for members, but this two-way process also needs members to engage. We need CAs to engage with ideas and support new initiatives, engage with each other, and engage on the merits of their career choice when talking to friends who are at school or university. Your positive experience and your success as CAs should mean something to others and you can be ICAS’ greatest promoters to the wide group of potential future members.
There is one other area where you can make a difference – the ICAS Foundation. The ICAS Foundation supports academically talented young people from disadvantaged communities, who wish to go to university to study accountancy or a finance related degree. In addition to financial help, the ICAS Foundation provides mentor support and assistance to find placements in CA firms and industry to help build important skills. This really works and to date 170 students have followed a path that might not have been open to them without this support. You can make a difference to these young people either by becoming a mentor, making a donation or by offering an internship opportunity.