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International council members can communicate with members in their region through quarterly newsletters. Below you will find all the messages sent out during their current council terms.

Q2 2024

David Crackett BSc FCA

As you all know, against a backdrop of intense scrutiny of the accountancy profession and increased regulatory expectations, ICAEW has revised its CPD Regulations. The changes give greater clarity on the amount of CPD that you should be doing to ensure you have up-to-date professional, technical, and business skills.

Many of you have expressed concern that this may be an additional burden, particularly for hardworking ICAEW members resident in Europe who may perceive limitations regarding access to relevant CPD material. This is not, however, the case. More focused learning will enrich your professional development.

The amount of learning material available online through ICAEW is now significant and is of excellent quality, with increasing efforts being made to provide dedicated updates for our European members. Recent webinars and seminars have included: an Italian tax update in English language which was attended by members from several countries; European-wide seminars on the Regulation of Crypto Assets and on Blockchain and Financial Crime; a British Swiss Chamber of Commerce seminar on the future of the UK and Switzerland and financial hubs – available to members as part of our BSCC partnership and the first webinar in our Career Empowerment Series: Present like a Rockstar Finance Professional – How to Communicate with Charisma.

These events were of interest to many of you and relevant to your future professional development. They are tailored to be focused on your needs and manageable in respect of your available time.

Some advice: if you missed them try catching up online; don’t be afraid to participate in events which take place in other European countries; most of all, Be Enriched by CPD.

Julia Seppä ACA

Through my recent outreach to members in LinkedIn, I have heard that you appreciate the robust foundation of knowledge our qualification provides. You also value its prestige, access to the members’ network, and the availability of training opportunities.

This is why, I hope, you will join the new and exciting Career Empowerment series for our European members. The first webinar took place last week with Peter McKenzie focusing on presentation skills and is now also available on demand. For the next one on 11 July we will have Susana Serrano-Davey sharing her personal journey transforming doubt into achievement. Last but not least, do also take a look at the summer collection of events in your country.

Wishing you a wonderful summer.

Odysseus Tavros

Back in late March 24 I attended the Council meeting in London, as elected member for Cyprus.

The thing is, on my return to Cyprus I was seated next to a young ACA member from Paphos who literally drilled me on what exactly I do, what is ICAEW Council, what is the Board, how much I get paid for doing it (I don’t – it’s voluntary and done for the love of my profession) and what benefits she gets by paying ICAEW subscriptions and those of other professional bodies.

Just to remind you, Council is the ultimate Governing Body of ICAEW under the Royal Charter and as such is responsible for setting the strategy. On the other hand, the Board is the principal decision-making body of ICAEW and is responsible for its leadership, management and operations.

In simple language the Board is responsible for ensuring the strategy is delivered and we as Council “hold to account” the Board. More information on the strategy and governance of ICAEW may be found here.

At the meeting, we received a fantastic report from the recently appointed “Chair of the Board”, Peter Wyman, who gave us an overview of the “Board business” this year, specifically on the key considerations ICAEW is facing and the tough decisions we will need to make:

ACA QUALIFICATION

We all accept that our qualification needs to evolve to reflect not only the needs of the market and workplace now but also in the future, with emphasis on lifelong learning, career specialisation and the future work environment. I look forward to updating you on the next generation ACA as soon as it is approved.

CENTRE FOR PUBLIC INTEREST AUDIT

There was detailed discussion with regards to public interest audits and the need to build public trust.

SUSTAINABILITY

More discussion as well on sustainability, reporting and assurance – this remains a hot area for our members, and I will be dedicating a separate piece on this.

DETAILED REVIEW OF THE ANNUAL REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR 2023

These were approved and I do recommend you all have a look at the financial statements and all the relevant reports with notes to see where your money is going. I recommend all our members to check out the Annual Report, it sure is an interesting read.

Digressing now, shortly after the Council meeting, I went to Scotland to support my son who entered a charity boxing competition. Yes, you heard right, “a boxing competition”. We kept this secret from his mother, who would not have approved at all her son fighting in a ring (even though his National Service was with the Special Forces).

The point was, we all went out for food and drinks after, over thirty of his fellow students and supporters. All brilliant students, all passed the test of “would I be happy to go out for a drink with them if I employed them” (the beer test) i.e. personality and students who you can tell have value to add and, yet, here is the point, not one single student would consider entering our profession. These are the future members we need. Why do you think university students appear less inclined to opt for our profession? Please do let me know your feedback.

Finally, the young ICAEW member asked me “Mr Tavros, what do you, as ICAEW, do for the Paphos members? I can see all the events planned in Limassol and especially Nicosia but never a consideration for Paphos”. I am delighted to invite you and all members in Paphos to a breakfast meeting in September 2024 for a great networking opportunity, panel discussion on an ICAEW film and certainly more full and frank discussion. Details to be announced shortly. In addition, to our younger members, do opt in your member account, to receive invitations for local events delivered for Younger Members in Cyprus and if you haven’t already signed up, check out the ICAEW Inspiring Future Leaders programme.

Q1 2024

Julia Seppä ACA

As we approach the blossoming of spring, there is a plethora of engaging social and technical member events across Europe. Your participation is not only encouraged, but essential for making these events truly exceptional.

I also urge you to take advantage of the newly published guidance 'Cyber Security in Corporate Finance' developed by the ICAEW in collaboration with the UK National Cyber Security Centre. In today's digital age, understanding cyber risks and knowing how to guard against cyber attacks are paramount. This resource equips you with the knowledge needed to navigate the complex landscape of cybersecurity in M&A transactions.

Let's embrace the spirit of spring by seizing these opportunities for connection and knowledge. As always, if you have any questions on this or any other topic please reach out to me via LinkedIn or email.

David Crackett BSc FCA

As you all know, on 1 April our Chief Executive Michael Izza is retiring after a distinguished career of over twenty years in ICAEW: firstly from 2002 as Executive Director of Finance & Operations and then from 2006 as Chief Executive. With this Update for Europe, I’d like to thank Michael for all the amazing work he has done for ICAEW in this period and I’m sure that, without exception, all of the over 4,000 members in our Europe & Eurasia constituency will join me in thanking and applauding him.

Michael’s stewardship has seen significant growth, supporting ICAEW’s transition to a leading international professional organisation. ICAEW now represents over 200,000 members and students from throughout the world, one-quarter of whom are based outside the UK. All of the top 100 global brands employ ICAEW Chartered Accountants. Michael has successfully led the transformation of our organisation to become the world leader that it is today.”

Michael has made an extraordinary contribution to ICAEW and the accountancy profession worldwide during his long and distinguished tenure as Chief Executive. Many of you who have had the opportunity of meeting Michael during his frequent visits to Europe or during your visits to Chartered Accountants Hall will certainly agree with me in saying that his straightforward friendly approach will be greatly missed by us all!

Michael’s successor, Alan Vallance, has already been appointed. Alan was welcomed as CEO designate on 1 February 2024 and will take up the role of ICAEW Chief Executive on 1 April 2024 when Michael retires. During the two-month handover period, Alan will undertake an extensive induction programme, familiarising himself with our organisation, our people, our business and operations, and our internal and external stakeholders.

Alan is extremely well qualified for the position and prior to joining ICAEW was Chief Executive of the Chartered Insurance Institute. Before that he worked as Chief Executive of the Royal Institute of British Architects and as Group Chief Operating Officer at the Law Society.

We are very much looking forward to working with Alan in the coming years as we address the challenges and opportunities facing our Institute in a fast-changing world. Click here to find out more.

Q4 2023

David Crackett BSc FCA

CHRISTMAS: A TIME FOR GOODWILL; A TIME FOR GIVING.

Christmas is a time for Goodwill, a time for being close to others and a time for giving. It is in this context that I refer you to an interview of our Deputy-President Malcolm Bacchus  published in ICAEW Insights on 29 November 2023. In anticipation of ICAEW publishing details of Committee Vacancies in January, Malcolm explains why volunteering your time and getting involved is a win-win situation not to be missed. The benefits we have all received from being a member of our Institute are enormous, so why not volunteer for an ICAEW committee and give something back. There are lots of interesting opportunities for making your personal contribution to our profession and really make a difference. Being involved in an ICAEW committee can also do wonders for your own skill set and for your career progression. And, of course, you meet so many wonderful people with so many different experiences and ideas.

Since I’ve had the privilege of being an Elected Member of Council for Europe & Eurasia, I’ve also had the opportunity of being more directly involved in the workings of our Institute. As Council Members we are encouraged to participate in task forces and committees with the aim of continuously improving the effectiveness of ICAEW for our Members and for the public interest. I’ve been honoured to participate in the Governance Implementation Committee (“GIG”) and in the Nominating Committee, both providing me with in depth knowledge of the ICAEW governance structures and processes and allowing me to contribute to the positive changes which are now taking place.

Through these roles I have also had the opportunity of getting more members involved from Europe & Eurasia as well as from our other international constituencies. This increased involvement of international members contributes to positive change in our Institute by extending the diversity of thought, of opinion and of experience. I hope, therefore, that in this season of goodwill you will give some thought to being more involved in contributing to the development of our profession and getting closer to your fellow ICAEW members. Click here to find out more.

Q3 2023

David Crackett BSc FCA

It’s a privilege to be an elected member of Council and having the opportunity to be more directly involved in the workings of our institute. As Council Members we are encouraged to participate in task forces and committees with the aim of continuously improving the effectiveness of ICAEW for our Members and for the public interest.

During my six years on Council, I’ve been honoured to participate in the Governance Implementation Committee (“GIG”) and in the Nominating Committee, both providing me with in depth knowledge of the ICAEW governance structures and processes and allowing me to contribute to the positive changes which are now taking place.

It is with great satisfaction, therefore, that I have seen one of the key results of these changes taking place through the appointment of Peter Wyman, CBE as ICAEW’s first independently recruited Chair of the Board at the beginning of September. Peter has a wealth of senior experience in the public and private sectors and was selected following an open and rigorous recruitment process. He will start the role in October and will serve for an initial three-year term.

My congratulations go not only to Peter for his prestigious new position but also to all those involved in the recruitment process for selecting such an excellent candidate who will undoubtedly drive forward the positive change which is already underway.

Julia Seppä ACA

As European businesses and governments continue to navigate intricacies of the current economic climate and deal with the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine our role takes on added significance as we discharge our professional responsibilities, ensuring resilience in the face of headwinds.

In parallel, we are witnessing the transformative power of Generative AI, which compels us to innovate in how we conduct business, harnessing technology to drive efficiency, insights, and growth.

In the midst of urgent, let’s not forget about important – sustainability should remain at the forefront of our collective agenda.

I hope you will find time to explore new Generative AI Guide for chartered accountants that has been developed by ICAEW Tech with input from other technical experts and participate in virtual sessions at ICAEW Climate Summit in November.

As always do not hesitate to reach out to me via LinkedIn or email. I will be happy to hear from you.

Q2 2023

David Crackett BSc FCA

June is an important month for the ICAEW Council. In June we have our AGM followed by a changing of the guard with a new President, Deputy President, and Vice President.

My congratulations go to Mark Rhys (President), Malcolm Bacchus (DP), and Derek Blair (VP) in their respective roles. I have had the privilege of working with all of them now on Council for several years and they will undoubtedly strengthen the position of our Institute as did their predecessors before them.

In June we also have the newly elected Council Members taking their seats. Thirty-five Council Members were elected this year, of whom over twenty took their seat for the first time.

Of those re-elected my special congratulations go to Julia Seppa, my fellow Council Member for the Europe & Eurasia constituency with whom I look forward to continue working together for the next two years, further strengthening our Europe & Eurasia community.

Julia Seppä ACA

As a backbone of financial systems worldwide, chartered accountants play a pivotal role in shaping the economies. To maintain our position as industry leaders, it is crucial to embrace emerging technologies like generative AI and harness their potential. ICAEW’s hub on Artificial Intelligence is a great resource to discover the impact and opportunities AI presents for the accountancy profession and business in general. Furthermore, new ICAEW CPD initiatives are designed to provide you with continuous learning and development opportunities, ensuring that you stay at the forefront of technological advancements. I hope you will take advantage of these free resources and build expertise in emerging areas to create lasting impact on your organisations, clients and economies.

If you have any questions on this or any other topic, please reach out!

Q1 2023

David Crackett BSc FCA

For almost six years I’ve had the great privilege of being an elected Council Member for the ICAEW Europe and Eurasia constituency. As part of this privilege, I’ve had the honour of attending many of ICAEW’s prestigious events; meeting with outstanding, extremely interesting individuals; obtaining an insight into national and global events, both regarding the economy and game changing initiatives in the World at large.

It is in this context, that the ICAEW Annual Dinner which took place at the end of March in Chartered Accountants’ Hall affected me profoundly with the presentation of the ICAEW Outstanding Achievement Award for 2023 to our ICAEW Member, Richard Ratcliffe FCA. I would go so far as to say it impressed me much more than any other of the many outstanding ICAEW events I had previously attended. The award recognised Richard’s exceptional commitment, sacrifice, and resilience during his political campaign to free his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe following her detention in Iran.

Richard’s wife, Nazanin, was detained in Iran by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard on 3rd April 2016. She was later sentenced to five years imprisonment on an undisclosed national security charge by the Iranian Revolutionary Court.

From the moment she was detained, Richard campaigned tirelessly to bring his wife home and never stopped discussing the £400m debt that the UK owed to Iran from the 1970s. It was eventually repaid, Nazanin was released on 16th March 2022 and she then returned to the UK.

Richard believes that being an accountant and an auditor gave him a way of looking at the world by focusing on the substance of events regardless of their form. Although his campaign for Nazanin’s release was a world away from his day job, the ability to focus with patience on evidence behind different assertions, the ability to navigate an unknown situation, the questions about accountability, and trying to work out what mattered materially were all familiar elements of his accountancy training and experience.

The experience of campaigning was not easy: at times it was tough, at times terrifying but lots of positive things also came out of it. Richard explained this to us with great humility and great sensitivity with these words: “I also experienced real kindness, humanity, care and support from lots of lovely people. I don’t want to forget about the past because there’s lots of good things about those six years and this award is a nice reminder of that. Truth and fairness are powerful anchors for making sense of the world.”

Richard’s campaign lasted for six long and difficult years and finally ended with the return of his wife to her family in the UK. His professional training and experience undoubtedly provided the foundation of this success, but it was constructed over time with the “Support from lots of lovely people”. The role of Communities was, in fact, fundamental and the ICAEW communities both Members and Institutional contributed significantly, as did many other communities and individuals both at home and abroad.

At our annual dinner Richard thanked the ICAEW Community with positive sincerity for all their support.
I would like to thank Richard for the Breath of Fresh Air he provided us with on a cold, damp evening in March.

If you feel as strongly about communities as I do, join and participate in our ICAEW Members in Europe LinkedIn Group.

Julia Seppä ACA

2 days ago (4 April 2023) Finland became the newest member of NATO, while the ECB remains committed to focusing first on inflation, including sharp rises in interest rates.

Our members are as busy as ever and upcoming Easter is a welcome break from hectic days for many of us.

ICAEW has also announced the decision of Michael Izza to retire as a chief executive by end of the year. Winds of change are blowing, not to mention new CPD policy for our members which will come into effect in November 2023.

If you have any questions on it or any other topic, please reach out. And remember to take advantage of open access to Audit and Assurance, Financial Reporting Faculty and all ICAEW Communities!

Q3 2022

Julia Seppä ACA

There is something special in the early leaves drifting from the trees. Autumn reminds me that no matter what we are all allowed a chance to peel and start again. I hope you will check and sign up for European events available in your geography whether to brush up on your technical knowledge or join a member social. ICAEW has also made available all tech content to help members master tech and data by removing paywalls. Make a good use of it! I will be glad to hear from you.

Q2 2022

David Crackett BSc FCA

In uncertain times, grass root communities are of fundamental importance. With over 4,000 members in our ICAEW Europe & Eurasia constituency we have lots of opportunities of strengthening our bonds with fellow Chartered Accountants. KEEP IN TOUCH through our Country Groups, our City Groups, our Contact Members and our LinkedIn Groups.

Julia Seppä ACA

It’s time for a summer slowdown. I hope you can prioritise down time to pause and recharge, spend time outside, reconnect with friends, make time for summer reading, use your vacation days, and take a trip. Perhaps you may also want to refresh the knowledge of what’s available to you as an ICAEW member, so you are better equipped to navigate complexity in today’s world. Check the links in this June newsletter and keep in touch through our country groups, online communities, and LinkedIn groups. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I will be glad to hear from you. Enjoy your summer! 

Q1 2022

David Crackett BSc FCA

Members in our Europe & Eurasia Constituency are facing threats and difficulties unprecedented in most of our lifetimes: After two years of pandemic, we now have war, sanctions, escalating energy prices, and inflation to deal with. 

We must help each other. Strengthen our ICAEW Community. Use all the tools available to us: communicate with your fellow ACAs and FCAs and look for support from caba. Stick together and support each other. 

Julia Seppӓ ACA

I know that many of you have been hoping for a better year filled with social interactions and, perhaps, travelling. I must admit that I was hoping for a great 2022. The year where we focus on sustainable growth and restoration of human connection.

Then Russia attacked Ukraine, and the world has changed. I know this is a difficult time for many ICAEW members, particularly for those who have employees, colleagues, friends and family in Ukraine and Russia. I am no exception to this.

I encourage you to check the links in this newsletter with relevant information on Russia sanctions, as well as on how to support and help your colleagues, friends and family and manage your own wellbeing. I also encourage you to continue helping in any way you can. Little things pave the way to peace. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I will be glad to hear from you.  

Q3 2021

David Crackett BSc FCA

Just 50 years ago I graduated in what is now called Environmental Sciences but decided to train as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Little did I know that 50 years on, I would be deeply involved, through ICAEW, in environmental issues. My message to younger members is don’t be afraid to flow with the stream, provided you can keep it clean! 

Julia Seppӓ ACA

ICAEW chartered accountants are business leaders, first and foremost. This is why we are well-placed to drive climate action. Don’t wait to get involved in your or your clients’ net zero journeys – or be the conversation starter!    

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