You said, we're doing: Feedback from the September 2023 member survey
September 2023 member survey: How ICAS is responding to your key priorities
Explore September 2023 member survey results and find out how we are acting upon your insights. In September, we undertook a bi-annual survey of our members. We use the insights we gather to help shape organisation-wide thinking and to inform our understanding of the issues which matter to our membership. We also use insights to structure our strategic planning and to set robust measurement targets and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Your opinions matter to us. Sharing your feedback is a chance to shape the organisation, as your views help us to improve your services and enhance your membership.
You said: That artificial intelligence (AI) and tech were important challenges now and in the future.
We did: We ran our inaugural Digital Practice Conference in May 2023, covering a range of topics to help you keep up to date on technological changes. You can watch the sessions from the conference here. We also published several articles and guides, including seven tips for tech adoption and profiling practices who are embracing tech. Earlier this year, we launched our Cyber Security Hub which contains guidance and signposting for advisers and SMEs.
In 2024, we plan to host further member events exploring AI and its impact on the profession. We’re also in the process of setting up an AI working group and we’re looking for members who have a specialist knowledge or interest in AI to contact us. If you are interested, please get in touch at email@example.com
You said: That attractiveness of the profession was important.
We did: Building a strong pipeline into the profession and ensuring that we support existing members are both key elements of ICAS 2030 strategy, together, we will. Launched in April 2023, our strategy sets out a clear vision for the future of ICAS and how we will continue to increase the number of people interested in joining the profession and how we will attract a diverse and inclusive pool of talent to study with ICAS. This year, we launched two new campaigns aimed at driving up awareness of the opportunities and flexibility of the CA qualification with two key audiences, students, and Authorised Training Offices (ATOs).
ICAS has also ensured our existing members remain supported by supplying a range of helpful toolkits, including a Vulnerable Persons toolkit, an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI toolkit) for firms and a Wellbeing toolkit.
In conjunction with Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW), we issued global research on the barriers affecting women in the profession as well as a toolkit for firms to help address those barriers.
We also provided a free confidentialhelpline that gives our members in practice, including CAs and non-CAs working in firms, access to experienced counsellors and advisers who are there with support 24/7.
ICAS also signalled its stated intention of creating and supporting a fair and equitable profession by signing up to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.
You said: Managing the increased pace of change of was important.
We did: ICAS delivered a range of content and information to make sure that you keep pace. You can access free, topical webinars covering a range of issues from sustainability, tax, the impact of the autumn statement, how to deal with HMRC to resilience and EDI. You can access our free webinars and on demand webinars here.
Our award-winning CA magazine continued to cover a rage of business topics to keep you up-to-date and informed. CA magazine is released ten times a year and can be accessed digitally on our website. We’re also changing the way the digital magazine is produced in 2024 to make is easier to read on any handheld devices.
Our technical information and guidance is produced to help you do your jobs and you can access all our content on the professional resources page of ICAS.com.
As busy professionals, we also know that your time is precious, so we also continued to update our podcast series that you can listen to anytime, anywhere.
In 2023 we launched a key programme of work, Shaping the Profession which is looking at how society views the accountants and the services we provide, and how it might need to adapt and change to the challenges we’re all experiencing.
You said: That ICAS should focus on sustainability reporting, the integrity of ESG data and tech.
We did: 2023 was a bumper year for sustainability reporting standards and we have worked to keep you up to speed. With the launch of the international and European sustainability reporting standards, we’ve been particularly busy, both influencing their evolution and guiding members through the changes. For example: we held our inaugural Sustainability Summit in London in April involving leading standards setters, responded to various consultations and exposure drafts (including future priorities of ISSB); interviewed leaders about sustainability reporting (and more); shared our views about the importance of reporting per double materiality; sign-posted members on social media to practical guidance (about interoperability of standards, and more); surveyed business leaders about the importance of sustainability and reporting; participated in national, regional and international advocacy groups and answered members’ technical queries. As effective dates begin to trigger in calendars in 2024, we’ll continue to support members as you try to interpret and apply the standards. In theory, some of these changes are tricky and nuanced; in application, we are on side to support you make best progress in taking these first steps together.
We will focus on: Over the next two years, we will also focus on helping you with the integrity of environmental, social and governance (ESG) D
ata and Tech and sustainability. Integrity of data management is a core, transferable skill for chartered accountants, and they play a key role in sourcing/managing/assessing data for ESG. As technology and the greater use of AI upends many conventional processes and operations, we will track how this evolving dimension can be leverage to full advantage.
You said: That the three issues government should focus on are reducing inflation, ensuring that the UK has a competitive tax system and productivity should be increased.
We did: Our policy and tax teams have been working on various initiatives to make sure that ICAS continues to influence the issues that matter to you. We responded to the Chancellor’s Autumn statement setting out the areas that the government should focus on. ICAS has continued to respond to many tax calls for evidence and consultations and we have continued to produce tax policy positions.
ICAS gave oral evidence to the House of Lords inquiry to the draft finance bill and together with other UK professional bodies we sent a second joint letter was sent to the Financial Secretary on 15 September, suggesting the publication of a simplification roadmap to signal the government’s commitment to simplifying tax and requesting a written response setting out the Financial Secretary’s views on the nine actions proposed in April.
ICAS met with officials from the Department of Business and Trade (DBT) in September and throughout the year to discuss audit and corporate governance reform, definition of a public interest entity, UK Corporate Governance Code, non-financial reporting, and sustainability reporting. A subsequent meeting was held to discuss the proposed increase in scope of the responsibilities of an audit committee. We have regular meetings with senior officials in relevant departments in UK and Scottish governments to set out our views and ideas on behalf of members and to try to influence their thinking.
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you to all Members who took the time to let us know their thoughts through our recent survey and related initiatives. ICAS values your feedback and engagement as we continue to improve our services and satisfaction levels.