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Dame Mary Keegan wins ICAEW Outstanding Achievement award

24 February 2014

The woman who ‘transformed’ accountancy in Government, Dame Mary Keegan, is the winner of the 35th ICAEW Outstanding Achievement award.

As Pricewaterhouse’s first female audit partner and one of the biggest drivers of global financial reporting standards, Dame Mary Keegan is being recognised for her contribution to the profession, in a career that spans nearly 40 years.

She reformed financial management in Government from 2004, as HM Treasury’s Managing Director for Government Financial Management. She began pushing for global standards in the 1990s, which led to her paving the way for the introduction of mandatory IFRS in the EU in 2005. 

As a founding member of the International Forum on Accountancy Development, she worked with the World Bank, IOSCO, the OECD and major investor groups to promote good corporate governance and the use of IFRS in emerging economies.

Dame Mary Keegan said: “I have had a great deal of fun throughout my career as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. It has been a privilege to work in such an interesting and challenging field - and in such a period of change in business and finance internationally.

“This award is the icing on the cake as far as I am concerned, I am honoured and delighted to be recognised by the Institute in this way.”

Peter Wyman, Chairman of the judging panel for the Outstanding Achievement Award, said: “Dame Mary has had a profound impact on the accounting profession with her huge intellect and a deep understanding of the global financial system. She made accountancy matter in Government.

He added: “I commend and admire her commitment to moving accounting and capital markets forward through building better professional standards and international institutions. She mentored hundreds of professionals at PwC, and at Treasury, who are a lasting legacy to her great accomplishments.”

She qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1977, where she trained at Price Waterhouse. She was a partner by 1985 and progressed as Head of Global Reporting Group. She served as a member of Council of ICAEW for three years from 1994, and was also Chair of the Financial Reporting Committee.

She will be presented with the award at the ICAEW Annual Dinner on 4 March at Chartered Accountants’ Hall.

Every year in March, the awards recognise an ICAEW member who has made an impact in the accounting profession and served the community in the broadest sense. It is recognised as the profession's most prestigious award.

Recent winners have included Sir Martin Broughton, Zarin Mehta and Sir Michael Rake.