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Middle East

Quarterly updates from your Council Member for the Middle East

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.

Messages from Q1 2024

Syed Asif Zaman

Dear members,

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, it is crucial for accountants to stay abreast of the latest technology trends to maintain their competitive edge and enhance their service offerings.

Embracing advancements such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data analytics can significantly streamline financial processes, improve accuracy, and provide deeper insights for strategic decision-making. Additionally, understanding and implementing cybersecurity measures are vital to protecting sensitive financial data.

By investing in continuous learning and staying updated on technological innovations, accountants can drive efficiency, offer more valuable advisory services, and better meet the dynamic needs of their clients.

In addition to technical proficiency, mastering soft skills is essential for accountants to excel in their careers. Effective verbal and written communication enables them to convey complex financial information clearly and persuasively to clients and stakeholders. Strong interpersonal skills foster collaborative relationships and build trust, which is crucial for client retention and team dynamics. Problem-solving abilities and critical thinking help in navigating challenging situations and providing innovative solutions.

Additionally, time management and adaptability are vital in managing multiple projects and responding to the ever-changing business environment. By honing these soft skills, accountants can enhance their professional impact, leading to more tremendous success and career growth.

Please do not hesitate to reach out, if you have any questions or concerns.

Messages from Q4 2023

Syed Asif Zaman

Dear ICAEW Members,

Our industry is undergoing a rapid digital transformation, driven by advancements in blockchain, big data, data analytics, AI, and cloud-based accounting software. These technologies are automating tasks, enhancing data transparency, and streamlining processes, fundamentally altering the accounting and auditing landscape.

As ICAEW members, we must adapt to this new era by embracing these technologies and developing the necessary skills. We must stay informed about regulatory changes and effectively manage the change process within our organisations.

The future of accounting and auditing is changing but is still bright and by embracing digital transformation we can continue to give our clients, colleagues, and fellow professionals in the industry the best advice and service.

Finally, I am committed to representing your interests and working to ensure that ICAEW continues to provide you with the support and resources you need. Please feel free to contact me at icaew.councilme@gmail.com or connect with me via LinkedIn to share your thoughts and feedback.

Messages from Q3 2022

Rohit Rajvanshi FCA

Dear all

I trust you all had the chance to take some time off with your friends and loved ones over the summer months and importantly recharged the batteries.

The current times remain uncertain both from a geopolitical and economic standpoint and our role as chartered accountants becomes even more important to navigate the challenges that lie ahead.

It is our strong understanding of the financial environment that enables us to support the key stakeholders in taking the right decisions. I would again urge you all as members to use the vast array of tools and resources that ICAEW has to offer. In particular, I would encourage you all to take the time to review the Quarterly Economic Update reports and also with the increased focus on ESG I would recommend you all to check our Climate Hub. I attach both links below which I am sure you will find useful.

As always if anyone has any queries or comments that they want to share, I would be very happy to hear from you.

Messages from Q2 2022

Rohit Rajvanshi FCA

Launch of ICAEW Annual Report

ICAEW launched this year’s annual report on 21 April 2022. One outstanding achievement, as mentioned in Michael Izza’s foreword, was the record ACA student intake of 11,049. This marks a huge 18% increase on 2020, and 15% more than our previous global high in 2019. Looking ahead, ICAEW announced during 2021 that talks are underway with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), to explore the potential for working more closely together in the future. The vision driving the discussions is the creation of a single strong federated professional accountancy body with truly global reputation and reach. Please watch this space.

Some key events from across the region supporting the strategic pillars:

  • In the UAE, we co-hosted a panel session with the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Accountants & Auditors Association (AAA) to discuss the role of chartered accountants in managing and mitigating the risk of money laundering. As the UAE seeks to strengthen the integrity of its financial system, we collaborated to help organisations comply with their anti-money laundering (AML) obligations and adhere to financial crime legislation.
  • In Saudi Arabia, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Organization for Chartered and Professional Accountants (SOCPA), committing both organisations to develop the accountancy profession in the Kingdom. The agreement was signed in the presence of the Saudi Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Media, then ICAEW President David Matthew.
  • In Iraq, we signed an agreement with the Iraq Union of Accountants and Auditors, committing our organisations to work together to help rebuild the accountancy profession in Iraq and build foundations to support the country’s economic growth. The ceremony was attended by the Iraqi Ambassador to the UK, and the Executive Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council and Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Iraq.

ICAEW – ‘Accountancy Body of the Year’

The 19th PQ Magazine annual awards took place in early May 2022 in London, and saw ICAEW winning the Accountancy Body of the Year 2022 award. It is a testament to the institute’s amazing work in diversity, inclusion, sustainability and putting our key stakeholders at the heart of everything we do. It represents and recognises the achievements of everyone here at ICAEW and I would like to thank you all in helping us to achieve this award in 2022.

Future prospects

As we start to emerge from the Pandemic unfortunately we see new challenges with the ongoing war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures and supply chain management issues. Governments across the world are taking the appropriate actions to address these challenges, however, in many cases we see long term economic forecasts being revised downwards. Saying that, in this region given the focus on oil production and other measures being taken we can be positive due to the strength and resilience of this region and its ability to respond to such challenges. As members I encourage you to utilize the Institute’s resources including their webinars to support you in these challenging times.

Finally, as your voice on ICAEW Council for Middle East, please feel free to connect directly with me (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rohit-rajvanshi-a4729872) to share your thoughts and feedback on how ICAEW can do better in your region and at the same time better support you. I am looking forward to interacting with you at our future members events.

Messages from Q1 2022

Rohit Rajvanshi FCA

With the easing of the Covid restrictions we are starting to see life return back to normal or close to normal. In parallel we are starting to see promising signs in the economy although current geo-political uncertainties have added a different kind of tension in the market. We all hope that calm and sense will prevail!

I hope you took the chance to visit Expo 2020 – if not, please do whilst you still have the chance. We also have other exciting flagship events like 2022 World Cup in Qatar coming soon and exciting venues like ‘Museum of the Future’ opening in Dubai so please don’t miss the chance to take part - all of which is further evidence that the Middle East is the place to be!

Take care everyone and stay connected!

Messages from Q3 2021

Rohit Rajvanshi FCA

I am pleased to see life returning back to what we were used to with schools re-opening, travel restrictions easing and people returning back to offices. I hope to see us continue on this road to recovery as we reconnect properly with our friends, families and wider communities.

On the economic front we are seeing a recovery which is expected to receive another boost with the start of EXPO 2020 in less than a month’s time which is exciting and brings a great level of optimism to the region.

While it is not a time to be complacent with new Covid variants still emerging, we can take some comfort with the success of the vaccination program in the region. Take care and stay connected with each other.

Messages from Q2 2021

Rohit Rajvanshi FCA

I am pleased to see significant progress is being made with the vaccination drive across the region and the globe.

Businesses and the general economy are fighting back strongly with improved performance and confidence showing in key sectors such as retail, real estate and hospitality. There is some way to go but the progress is tangible and the optimism is growing.

Please stay safe and take care of yourselves and your families.

Messages from Q1 2021

Rohit Rajvanshi FCA

I hope that you and your families and friends are keeping well. This has been an extraordinarily difficult period for us all to endure, however, thankfully I believe we are now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are slowly seeing a reduction in the number of active cases and the vaccination program is making steady progress.

The pandemic for me, has been a stark reminder of the key role we finance professionals have to play on the road to economic recovery. I believe that we are already playing an invaluable part and will continue to do so on the long road ahead. For that reason it is vital that we all remain resilient and focused on our own personal well-being and development in this volatile world. To that end I would strongly encourage you all to visit the ICAEW website and sample what is being offered to our members through a diverse range of webinars and thought leadership. There is a wealth of information available so please do tap into this resource.

Also I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the very important role that CABA plays. As you will be aware CABA is the charity that supports the well-being of our chartered accountant community. It has literally changed some of our members lives not only in the area of health and well-being but also in terms of career coaching and professional development. The pandemic and the feeling of isolation that many have faced has had a huge impact on mental health and CABA has trained experts and a wealth of resources to help where needed, please do reach out and seek their support for issues large or small as they can make a real difference.

Finally again I just want to say to all, please take care and stay safe. Better times surely lie ahead and we all have our part to play in the recovery process.

ICAEW council

Meet your ICAEW team

ICAEW also has a network of contact members in the Middle East, who are points of contact for members' enquiries on living and working in the region.

Reem Garabedian
Reem Garabedian Marketing Manager, ICAEW

Reem is the ICAEW Marketing Manager for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, and is ICAEW's main point of contact for members who are based in the Middle East.

Syed Zaman
Syed Asif Zaman ICAEW Council Member for the Middle East

Syed has 26 years plus experience at various levels in various organizations as a chartered accountant. He currently heads a group of companies based in Dubai & works in the space of Audit & Assurance, Consultancy, Software Development, Emerging Technologies & Trading.