Career focus: Building through Professional Development

Picture of a business man climbing the stairs to success
By Alex Burden, Professional Development Editor

7 October 2016

Professional Development Editor Alex Burden speaks with John Moffat BAcc CA about his career commitment to learning and development, and what it has meant for his continually evolving career.

With an increasingly mobile demographic of members, in order to keep ahead of the global, economic, legal, structural and cultural challenges that exist in the modern workplace, ICAS aims to provide professional development that is globally relevant to all members.

Keeping up-to-date technically is one aspect but how do you develop as a leader and how do you become accountable for your career?

John Moffat CA joined Grant Thornton in 1978 and qualified in 1981, before becoming a Senior Manager with the firm in 1988. He also held responsibility for student training and development as the ICAS Training Principal for over 15 years with Grant Thornton, until 2012.

The variety and depth of his audit work coupled with continual training and development has led John into providing training and professional development; passing on his knowledge to the wider CA community and further afield. In addition, John is actively involved with ICAS committees.

He emphasises that keeping technically up to date is crucial as a professional chartered accountant because it "recognises that not everyone can be a specialist in all areas."

Since 2002, John has taken advantage of over 20 professional development courses and events, which have helped cut a clear pathway for his growing career, as well as ensuring all advice and support for clients was aligned with changes to the industry, improved regulations and business development.

Follow his journey from qualification to becoming a provider of training and professional development, courses and networking events have helped his career and knowledge base to flourish.

YearCareer and professional engagementsProfessional Development Courses


Joined Grant Thornton



Qualified as a CA through ICAS



Promoted to Senior Manager at Grant Thornton


John was based in the Audit and Assurance Department in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and primarily worked with ‘Owner Managed Clients’. At different stages of his career, John specialised in PLCs, Professional Practices and Pension Schemes.

"As an Audit Specialist, I also provided training assistance to the firm’s National Training Centre, particularly in relation to Group Audits. I was also involved for two years in the updating and drafting of the firms’ Audit Manual. Additionally, I supported the firm’s National Assurance Department for four years, providing the Audit and Financial Reporting Updates.” 



Joined ICAS AAT Council as Member (until 2000)

Became a member of the AAT Self-Employed Members Panel and Chairman (until 2000)



Became a Training Principal for CA students training with Grant Thornton (until 2012)




Business Risk Management



Joined the ICAS Business Policy Committee (until 2010)

International Accounting Standards - What you need to know

The Solicitors' Accounts Rules

The Solicitors' Certificate Rules




Seeking the Trust in Tomorrow's Business Environment




Pensions Trustees and Employers Duties & Responsibilities

The Solicitors' Accounts and Certificate Rules

Confident Personal Performance



Joined the ICAS Pensions Committee (until present)

Managing the Modern Pension Scheme

Limited Liability Partnerships - Should we form one


John is staunchly committed to career-long professional development and believes this is key to moving your career forward and developing personal confidence: “Attendance at such events encourages development away from the normal day to day working environment.

"In addition to contributing to training, attendance builds up meeting skills and contributes to networking. These skills help overall development as a professional accountant. Meeting new people also helps create personal and busy links, as well as encouraging closer involvement with ICAS.”




Achieving Peak Personal Performance

Pensions Conference




International Financial Reporting Standards Update and Refresher

The CA Conference

The Pensions Conference



Joined the ICAS Technical Policy Committee (until present)

Became the ICAS Pensions Committee Convenor (until present)

The CA Conference - Leading Change, Rebuilding Confidence

Pensions Breakfast Briefing: Preparing for 2012

IFRS for SMEs - How to Convert from UK GAAP

Pensions Breakfast Briefing: The Role of the Trustee


“My ICAS highlights have also come from my Convenorship of the Pensions Committee, which ultimately arose from professional development encouraged through ICAS,” said John. “ICAS has been a big part of my life for the last 15 years, based on my attendance at events, contributing through Committees and through related personal friendships.”




Solicitors' Accounts and Certificate Rules

ICAS Conference




Stagecoach - the CAs behind the Wheel

UK GAAP is Dead, Long Live the UK GAAP

ICAS Conference


John decided to use his amassed knowledge and skills to help others and decided to start his own venture in 2015. “While I could potentially retire, I wanted to keep working at my own pace in these specific areas. I started working on my own last year to provide professional development and training services.

"At this stage of my career I wanted to personally concentrate on these areas; moving away from audit and related work. I never thought I could enjoy my work so much at this stage of my career, by spending time in areas I really enjoy working with, building on friendships started through my CA career and through my involvement with ICAS.”



Launched his own business, JRM Training and Professional Services, providing training courses and professional development material, including for BPP and ICAS

Help shape the future of financial reporting

ICAS Conference


John now delivers and teaches courses on Solicitors’ Accounts Rules, Auditing Standards, Fraud and Money Laundering, Company Reporting, FRS 102, SORP and LLP accounts, and the provision of ongoing technical updates.




What it takes to create and run a multi-award winning full service legal firm

Marketing and selling the AG Barr brands

Seeing the Future

ICAS Conference


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