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Dispatches from the director

ICAEW Scotland Director, David Bond, reflects on a busy start to 2019 and shares some of his experiences from the last few months.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already past the halfway point of the year, it’s been a busy – but very enjoyable – few months for us, with a wide range of events taking place across the country. We are one of the largest regions of ICAEW, spanning the whole country from Hawick to the Highlands, and that can sometimes present a challenge when it comes to connecting with members. While there are still plenty of places I’d like to visit, we’ve started the year with several events taking place outwith the expected locations of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Northern networking

The first big trip of the year was to Inverness in February, where we met up with members for lunch and had the chance to hear about life in the city and beyond. Many members had travelled considerable distances to attend the event, and it really brought home to me how diverse and geographically spread our membership is.

It was great to see that our members are proud to be part of ICAEW and served as a useful reminder that we need to make the most of every opportunity to stay connected, whether in person via events or by making the most of technology.

Member insights

I’m proud to say that a number of events focusing on member views and consultations have already taken place this year. Understanding what's important to you matters to us here in Scotland and across ICAEW as a whole.

At the Future of ACA session – hosted by Armstrong Watson in Glasgow – we explored how the topics covered by the qualification are evolving to better reflect the issues we all face. The discussion was both lively and insightful, with many diverse views and experiences being shared by our members.

Invaluable insights

One of the biggest considerations for the profession is the future of audit. The Kingman and Brydon Reviews have the potential to impact on each and every one of us, and ICAEW have put forward robust responses throughout the process – often based around member input. As part of the latest round of responses, ICAEW Director for Business and Industrial Strategy, Iain Wright, lead a roundtable breakfast discussion for IMS members in May. Members from all areas of the profession took the opportunity to voice their views, and debate and discuss the issues. It was an intense but insightful session and I think that the thoughts of our members will have helped ICAEW shape a wider response.

Connecting with members at every step

Fiona Wilkinson (then Deputy ICAEW President) visited us in March and I enjoyed accompanying her to a number of meetings with members, including time spent with a group of our younger members. Fiona’s visit finished up with her meeting members at the other end of their accountancy careers, at an afternoon tea event for Life Members. It was fascinating to hear about how the profession has changed over the decades and to realise just how far things have come.

A number of firsts

One of our goals is to explore new events and approaches – or simply take already successful events to new places. Already this year we’ve expanded the ICAEW Essentials programme into Glasgow, with two sessions in the city in May. This brings our Essentials programme up to five events in Scotland. These are great CPD opportunities and there’s more to come later in the year; I recommend checking out the events pages and making the most of these sessions so that we can explore expanding them further in the future.

Another CPD first for us was a roundtable event on personal development, hosted by Morton Fraser in Edinburgh and led by Leading Figures. The expertise on offer prompted a really useful discussion and has paved the way for more events along these lines in future.

May saw the first in a series of roundtable events for members in practice take place. ICAEW’s Janet Hartas helped us explore the key issues facing practitioners, with particular emphasis on quality and assurance. It was great to get support from CATAX for this event (and the next two), and to be invited to hold it in Brewin Dolphin’s Edinburgh offices.

Connecting with the world of business

Many of you will be aware of Project Heather, which was formed last year and aims to launch a new Scottish Stock Exchange built on the principles that will have a positive impact on society and the environment. It’s a fascinating and exciting project and I spent a couple of interesting days finding out more – firstly at a joint venture lunch with CISI in Aberdeen, then at a breakfast event in Edinburgh hosted by Barclays. The Edinburgh event was hosted by ICAEW in Scotland in partnership with the ICAEW Energy & Natural Resources Community. It’s a busy time for the ICAEW Communities, who offer sector specific support for members, so it was great to have the chance to team up with them for this event. I hope there’s more to come.

A matter of ethics

Edinburgh Napier University’s Management, Governance and Ethical Finance Conference is now a firm fixture in the business calendar and we’re delighted to be able to support it again this year. It’s organized by IMS member Dr Marizah Minhat and attracts speakers and delegates from around the world. I wish that I could have attended the full two days of the event, and look forward to reading Marizah’s article on the Conference in a future issue of IMS e-news.

Serving up something different

Our Q2 BCM Breakfast took place in early June in Dundee and was given a new slant courtesy of IMS Committee member and serial entrepreneur Stephen Westwood. Discussion focused on the local economy and explored the positive impact that the new V&A has had on the city. The event was hosted by DC Thomson.

I’m delighted to add that not only is Stephen leading several events for IMS this year, he’s also taken over the role of Business Representative. Having held this role before joining the team last year, I know that there’s a lot to get involved with, but also know that with Stephen, things are in good hands.

Find out more

Two Life Members look back

Practice Member Roundtable

About ICAEW Essentials

Project Heather

ICAEW Communities

Essentials IFRS session

Essentials ‘Do more in a day than you do in a week’ session