How ICAS supports Members in practice
A CA offers much more than number crunching to their clients – they’re a trusted source of advice. ICAS supports its Members to go above and beyond with the latest thinking, resources and support.
In August 2021, ICAS sought the views of members in practice on a range of issues as part of our regular insight surveys. One of the messages which came out from that survey was that many Members who work in practice were unaware of the vast number of resources and support more generally which is available.
In January 2021, a new programme of support for practice was launched. Evolve provides a range of assistance and tools necessary for ICAS firms to keep up to date and evolve as the world around changes. The elements of the programme will also evolve over time and indeed have done so during the first months of the programme being launched.
The support programme is based around five key components:
- Knowledge and Insights
- Practice Services
- Promotional support
- Firm support
- Professional development
Importantly, the resources are available to everyone in an ICAS firm, whether they are ICAS Members or not, as we recognise that firms only thrive and deliver great client service when everyone in the firm has access to resources and support.
All ICAS firms are automatically entitled to participate in the Evolve programme and additional benefits are available to firms on a subscription basis through the Evolve+ and Evolve Premium tiers.
Technical knowledge and support was highlighted by the survey as one of the most important aspects to Members. This is included as part of the Knowledge and Insights area of Evolve but it is worth highlighting some of the specific resources and support available. These include:
- Technical bulletin – a bi-monthly publication covering tax, accounting and auditing, company law updates and much more all aimed at the general practice. The most recent edition is available to Evolve+ and Evolve Premium tier subscribers while archive editions are available to all firms in the Evolve programme.
- General Practice Manual – a one-stop area of helpsheets and guidance for the general practice including many specimen documents and checklists.
- Audit news – quarterly key updates for those involved in audit.
A key benefit available through the Practice Services section is the ability to gain FREE access to Croner-I Lite. This provides daily briefings through Accountancy Daily, access to Hardmans Tax and a monthly eCPD module.
ICAS also operates a Technical Helpdesk to offer guidance on a range of issues. The service covers queries in the following areas:
- Financial report and auditing (UK GAAP and IFRS, audit, related company law and audit and assurance ethics)
- UK tax
- Ethics and anti-money laundering reporting obligations
- General practice matters (Client engagement and disengagement, audit resignations, practice acquisition/disposal, data protection, AML, insolvency and other general matters)
Helping your practice run efficiently
We recognise that running a practice isn’t easy. A significant proportion of our Members in practice operate in a small to medium sized firm and don’t always have access to the same resources as larger firms.
While technical support helps, there is a range of other issues that affect those in practice. We have identified a range of services that are key to practice and have negotiated unique service levels or pricing. These include areas such as AML, Digital ID and compliance services, Professional Indemnity Insurance, IT support services, as well as many other services.
Some of the underlying awareness issues are probably linked to another theme from the survey which was around the navigability of the website. This will continue to be reflected upon and changes made where practical to do so. In the meantime, it is worth highlighting that the main information relevant to members in practice can be accessed through the Professional Resources and Regulation section of the ICAS website.
Speak to us
As much as access to resources and services is important, sometimes there is just no substitute for a direct conversation. No matter what support you require or are looking for, the Practice Support team is available for you to speak to.
With many years of experience in practice, there probably isn’t much that the team doesn’t have practical experience of or hasn’t come across. If they don’t know the answer, they know someone who does. You can arrange a time to speak with a member of the team directly using our direct diary booking system ensuring that the discussion can be at a time that suits you.