Ever since our founders met in the Clarence Hotel in Piccadilly in 1871, education has been one of the three key pillars around which ICAEW Manchester operate – and it’s something we value to this day. As part of this commitment to nurturing the next generation of accountants and business professionals, for the last two years we’ve been supporting a Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) post-graduate student from the Finance and Business Department with their dissertation. Thanks to the success of this project to date, we plan to continue this support for at least one more year.
The relationship allows us to raise our profile within the University ¬– and hopefully encourage students to consider training as ICAEW Chartered Accountants after graduation. It also enables us to share our insights, experience and expertise with the students we work with, helping them produce a more meaningful paper thanks to the inclusion of real-world insights. The students are also able to share surveys with our members, giving them access to a large sample of accounting professionals, many of whom hold key roles within the business community both locally and nationally.
To date, we’ve successfully worked with two students – Megan Dolaman (who we worked with in 2020 on her dissertation, “The Role of Auditing in Corporate Governance, does it help prevent fraud and comparison between UK and Luxembourg”) and Umair Yunas (who we worked with last year on his paper “Traditional or Islamic banking for Muslims”). Both Megan and Umair scored high marks for their dissertations, and Umair has been awarded a distinction for his paper.
Rod Sellers, who heads up ICAEW Manchester’s activity, explains that we already had some good connections with MMU and supporting students in this way seemed like a logical progression. “The students who we support get a modest fee from ICAEW, but the main way in which we support them is offering advice. We’re able to offer real-world insights that take their work beyond the academic and enable them to create something truly meaningful”.
In order to select which students and dissertations to support, a short list of eligible students was drawn up, then each student did a five-minute pitch. Megan’s dissertation was selected as it broadly fitted with the ideals of ICAEW Manchester, whilst Umair’s was chosen as it offered a different understanding on a topic which is still relatively new to many accounting professionals who may not yet have had to consider the implications of faith and finance for the Muslim community.
Rod says that both dissertations raised some interesting points – including the influence of technology on audit and the fact that financial advisors need to be more aware of Islamic banking – which could help shape future course and training for ICAEW Manchester.
Going forward, we hope that we can build on our relationships with the local student community. One very simple way that all of our members can do this is by completing any relevant surveys that the students we support in the future share, as the more responses they get from professionals, the more robust their findings will be.