Julia succeeds William Brooks as ICAEW president and will serve a one-year term until 2023, when she will hand over to Mark Rhys. Julia was first elected to ICAEW Council in 2013 and has been an ICAEW Board member since 2017.
As ICAEW’s fourth female president, Julia is particularly passionate about achieving greater diversity of talent within chartered accountancy and making the profession more inclusive. She also wants to advocate globally for ICAEW members to lead the transition to net zero.
This supports ICAEW’s commitment to serve the public interest as defined in its Royal Charter, and the implementation of ICAEW’s 10-year Strategy.
Julia said: “When I set out to become a chartered accountant, I had little insight into the potential for the profession to be such a positive force for societal and environmental change. But chartered accountants can lead the transition to net zero, helping businesses to identify the changes necessary and providing assurance on green reporting.
“We can also improve social mobility and champion greater inclusivity and diversity. Better decisions are made when we have more views around the table. Our professional qualification opens the door for individuals from all backgrounds to a seat around that table.
“While our members work in many different roles, as auditors, accountants, business leaders, academics and advisors, ultimately, chartered accountants help create strong and sustainable economies and I am honoured to be able to serve as President."
Julia became involved with Thames Valley Society of Chartered Accountants early in her career and served first as treasurer and then as the Society President in 2001/2. She later became chair of the ICAEW Technical Advisory Committee and a member of both the Technical Strategy and Financial Reporting Faculty Boards.
Julia qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1989, after obtaining an honours degree in Accountancy and Finance at Brighton Polytechnic. Shortly after qualifying, she began a training role, initially teaching students and later moving into CPD training and technical roles. She specialises in audit, financial reporting and anti-money laundering and has worked for a diverse range of organisations, including Wolters Kluwer, Wilmington plc, Chantrey Vellacott and Baker Tilly (now RSM). Alongside a variety of other work, she runs her own consultancy practice, JS Penny Consulting.