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 Q2 2023
Philip Graham Varley MBA FCA
Greetings fellow Chartered Accountants:
As I write this note today, sitting in the foothills southwest of Denver, Colorado, it is the first time in over two weeks that the sun has shone all day, and no rain has fallen. People have been joking that the weather pattern here has resembled what is stereotypical English weather, in what has been for Western Colorado, the wettest spring in over 30 years. Combined with an above average snowfall last winter, the rivers are now running so high and fast that there have been 11 rafting deaths so far this year. But the good news is that all but 4% of the state is now out of drought and the reservoirs of the Colorado River are filling up. Blue Mesa, the closest Colorado River headwaters reservoir to me, and five times the size of Lake Windermere, is now 120% of its historical average depth for this time of year and is releasing water to fill up Lake Powell, the nearest point of which is about 200 miles downstream, and the lake itself, when full, is almost 200 miles long!
The vagaries of weather are like the stock market, with bull and bear markets which are unpredictable. And often seemingly as irrational. As Keynes was reputed to have said, the markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent, which is why it is prudent to exhibit caution when postulating on matters which are subject to unpredictable influences. I seem to remember the emphasis on prudence from my PEI or PEII exams on SSAPs and wonder how many corporate failures may have been avoided if this concept had remained at the top of the hierarchy.
You may be asking why, in a note to Chartered Accountants across two continents, I begin with a weather report. The answer is because this is the time of year when ICAEW gets together for its Annual Conference. After the formalities at Chartered Accountants Hall of June's Annual General Meeting, retiring President's Dinner, and induction of Mark Rhys as our new President for the year to June 5, 2024, the 2.5 day conference in July provides an opportunity to informally discuss what matters the Institute should be emphasising as its long term strategy. And if the weather is good, we can do so in an outdoor setting, which always provides for a more relaxed exchange of views.
There will be changes coming to the Institute over the next year. Council has approved some restructuring of Governance, and the search for a new "independent" Chairman has begun. Currently, the President of the Institute automatically becomes Chairman of the Board, but those two roles are being split. Once the Chairman has been appointed, the search for a new CEO will begin in earnest to take up appointment on the retirement of Michael Izza later this year, after 18 years in the role.
Change at the top always provides an opportunity for a review of current operations and priorities. This means that now, even more so than previously, I would like to hear from you regarding what matters to you as a member of ICAEW in the Americas. Council provides you with that voice. With a fee structure which does not differentiate based on geography, I hope you are taking advantage of all the Faculties whose paywalls have been removed. I also hope that you are reading (or at least skimming) the frequent email updates from the Institute, because later this year, the Ethics Rules will be changing, and everyone who wishes to retain the use of the letters ACA or FCA after their name will need to comply with these rules, which will be far more stringent regarding content and record keeping than most of us have been accustomed to (unless we are also subject to our host country's professional requirements).
At the local Colorado level, between now and the end of the year, I will be hosting a golf game, botanic gardens get together (always a favorite), classic British car meet, brewery tour, and Christmas party. The date of the British Car Show is Sunday September 17 at Oak Park in Arvada, CO. All other dates will be announced when confirmed.
Please let me know if you have any other suggestions for Chapter meetings, and if you would like me to raise professional matters within Council. I can be reached at email@example.com or 303 946 1941.
Messages from Q1 2023
Philip Graham Varley MBA FCA
Greetings from London, fellow members. It is with great pleasure that I provide you with my first update of the year after just concluding our Q1 ICAEW Council Meeting.
There are a number of changes at the Institute which I would like to highlight. At the macro level, Michael Izza FCA, who has been CEO for the last 17 years, has announced his retirement by the end of this year. For many of us, he is the only CEO we can remember as he has been such a prolific speaker on behalf of the profession during that time. I'm sure we would all like to wish him well.
A very big change for the better has been enacted as a result of Council action, which is the removal of paywalls for three "faculties". Heretofore, these were available only on a subscription basis, paid in addition to ICAEW basic dues. This year, access to these faculties has been made available to all members included with your basic subscription. No matter where you practice, or in what role, there is a plethora of relevant information available on the ICAEW website. Finding just one answer to a tax, finance or IT question could by itself be worth your entire year's subscription.
Back home in Colorado, our local Chapter of Chartered Accountants Worldwide has held two in-person meetings this year, an After Christmas Party, and an Orchid Showcase at the Botanic Gardens. Plans for all meetings appear on the website CAWnetworkUSA.com. The website also provides links to webinars, seminars, news updates, and worldwide meetings of Chartered Accountants from all the affiliated Country Institutes. It makes for very interesting reading, after tax season!
If you have any suggestions for in-person meetings, or would like to have some input to Institute strategy, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303 946 1941.
Messages from Q4 2022
Philip Graham Varley MBA FCA
It is now nearly 18 months since I began my term of office on the ICAEW Council representing the Western USA, Central and South America. I have been able to attend five Council meetings in person, another five by Zoom, and attended countless other Executive, Committee and Task Force updates by Zoom, usually at 0200 Mountain Time! Despite reminding the good folks at Chartered Accountants Hall that an 0900 GMT meeting time might be convenient for them, for me it does not translate to the same “feel good start to the day” that they get with their coffee and pastries!
I mention this because I am your representative on Council, and without feedback from you on the issues that the Institute considers at these meetings, I simply provide my own opinions. Matters discussed and policies adopted run the gamut from basic fee setting, changes to CPD/CPE and ethics rules, to longer term strategic planning, and changes to the profession’s independence in being self-regulating such as the UK government’s creation of ARGA, (Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority) currently anticipated to impact us in 2024 (the initial proposals keep being pushed back).
Of particular interest to me in the run up to the next Council meeting is the Operational Plan which describes initiatives to be taken under the five “Strategic Themes” outlined on the Institute’s home page. These are very comprehensive and wide ranging, and broaden the role of the Institute’s focus beyond the traditional roles of finance, accounting and tax. Whether or not you are in favor of these themes would provide data from “ordinary members” to assist in adding to the discussions at Council, and I encourage as many of you as have an interest in the direction of policies at the Institute to contact me with your views.
The best news for all Members is that effective January 1, 2023, virtually all the research material which previously required a separate “Faculties” subscription, is now being made available as part of your annual subscription benefits. The trove of information is vast, and there is a significant amount which is directly relevant to overseas members. Check it out in the new year!
Locally, i.e. in Colorado, USA, I have scheduled in person membership meetings for the next three months. On Dec 28, there will be a Christmas Party, January 21 a visit to the Butterfly Pavillion, followed by Scottish lunch, and on February 11, an Orchid Showcase. Details and registration can be found under the “events” section of the Chartered Accountants Worldwide web page here (please note, not all details are available on the website yet).
As always, feel free to contact me at email@example.com I look forward to hearing from you.
Messages from Q3 2022
Mark Coles FCA
Greetings, fellow ICAEW members in the Eastern US and the Caribbean.
I wanted to keep you updated with activities at Chartered Accountants’ Hall, discussions and decisions taken at the Council meeting in June, the Annual Council Conference in July, as well as events being organized by Chartered Accountants Worldwide Network USA (formerly ACAUS).
The June Council meeting includes the annual election of Office Holders. Julia Penny was elected as President, Mark Rhys as Deputy President and Malcolm Bacchus as Vice President.
Restoring trust in the profession remains a key objective of the ICAEW. In that regard, the ICAEW is proposing to update the CPD requirement (ICAEW announces new CPD policy from November 2023 ). The proposal for the new annual requirement is that all active members will complete between 20 and 40 hours of verifiable and relevant professional education each year, along with two to four hours of ethics training. Following consultation, ICAEW Council has approved the principles of the revised CPD Policy. The new ICAEW CPD Policy will be launched in November 2023.
Many of you familiar with the CPE process for US CPA’s will note similarities.
It has been decided to remove all paywalls from Faculties effective January 1, 2023. As many of you know, the ICAEW publishes much high-quality content, and this decision will increase value to members and increase exposure of the content. It will also assist members in meeting the new CPD requirement. I encourage you all to take advantage of this offering.
As an update on the ongoing review of ICAEW Governance, following the report of the Governance Working Group (GWG), the Governance Implementation Group (GIG), consisting of about 20 members of Council is drafting proposals which will clarify the relationship between, and the responsibilities of, Council, Board, Committees and the Executive, and the process of discussion, approval and implementation.
As always, I welcome any thoughts on these and any other issues that you may have so that I can communicate them back to Council and the Board as appropriate. I also serve on the ICAEW Board as well as Council.
Both Philip Varley (elected last year as the Council Member for the Central, South and West Coast US and Central and South America) and I are also Directors of Chartered Accountants Worldwide Network USA, and of which all of you located in the US are members, through which most of our events throughout the US are organized. We encourage you review the website (https://cawnetworkusa.com/) and the wide range of events that CAW Network USA is organizing for members (https://cawnetworkusa.com/whats-on/), which include in person and virtual events, webinars on demand and podcasts.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone or text at 917 613 6327.
Philip Graham Varley MBA FCA
Greetings, fellow ICAEW members in the Americas. I wanted to keep you apprised of activities at Chartered Accountants Hall, and of discussions and decisions taken at the June Council meetings and Annual Council Conference. I would also like to seek feedback regarding the issues of most concern to you. Also, to members in Colorado, ask for your input to the kinds of meetings you would like to attend. At the Institute level, a couple of related issues will have direct impact on international members from late 2023, and those are the revision of the required annual CPD requirement, and to help attainment therewith, the removal of paywalls for Faculties.
As many of you will be aware, there have been a number of high profile business failures recently within Europe for which audit firms have been fined. Contemporaneously, a number of newspapers have taken it upon themselves to challenge whether audit firms are delivering what the public expects of them, and the UK Government has proposed the creation of a new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) in 2024 which will have sweeping powers to regulate the profession.
One of the key goals of the ICAEW this year is to restore trust in the profession. After public consultation, it is anticipated that a new policy will require all active members to complete between 20 and 40 hours of verifiable and relevant professional education each year, along with two to four hours of ethics training. Specific requirements based on occupational status of ACAs/FCAs are being debated at this time. Because of these new CPD requirements and in order to make compliance as easy as possible, together with being able to provide the same value of membership to all members irrespective of where in the world they reside, it has been decided to remove all paywalls from Faculties effective January 1, 2023. Details will be communicated in due course.
Within the Institute itself, the biggest issue under consideration currently is its governance. A Governance Implementation Group, consisting of about 20 members of Council is drafting proposals which will clarify the relationship of the Council, Board and Executive and Committees thereof, together with the responsibilities of each and the means by which matters are floated for discussion, approval and implementation. I would welcome any thoughts on the above issues so that I can communicate them back to Council.
Changing gears now to the local level, in Colorado we have held two in-person meetings so far this year, a visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens, and to a static airshow at Centennial Airport. I would like to arrange more frequent get togethers and would appreciate your interest in the following themes:
Pub evening e.g. Landsdowne Arms in Highlands Ranch
Garden walkabout, e.g. Botanic Gardens, Hudson Gardens
Wildlife attraction e.g. Zoo, Butterfly Pavillion
Inside Museum visit e.g. Colorado School of Mines Gem Museum, Forney Transportation Museum
“Treasure Hunt” by car – clues to navigate to specific locations to answer a question followed by lunch – prize for the winner!
After Christmas Party
Any other ideas not mentioned above….
If you could provide your feedback to me on the professional and social issues mentioned above, I would be grateful. I can be reached by phone at 303 946 1941, or by email at email@example.com
If you have any urgent matters you would like me to discuss at Council, the next meeting will be held on October 3.
Messages from Q2 2022
Philip Graham Varley MBA FCA
A year has passed since I was elected to Council, and by the end of June, I will have met with fellow Council members, in person, for four meetings. I have also been a participant in over a dozen video calls, whose agendas have varied from full Council meetings when travel restrictions were in place, to committee meetings, pre-Council briefings, and technical and regulatory updates. Most of these calls began at the most irregular hour of 2am in Denver.
Being on Council enables one to understand the complexity and vast array of matters with which our Institute is involved. There are particularly close workings with the UK government, as hardly a day passes without some call for more regulation of our profession.
I have been asked by a number of our Americas members why our overseas ICAEW subscription is the same as that paid by UK residents. The view held by the Board is that we are a worldwide profession, and as technology has advanced, where one resides does not necessarily prevent one from joining online events and accessing content and guidance online. Accelerated by restrictions imposed by governments on in-person contact during the last two years, ICAEW has developed and delivered a significant amount of material online which can be accessed on demand at a time that suits you.
At the local level, in Colorado I have held two in-person social outings and will continue to do so. If you reside in Colorado, please open the email invitations that you receive from Chartered Accountants Worldwide Network USA. They will also be included in the monthly event bulletins you receive from ICAEW.
I am always interested in hearing your suggestions for moving the Institute and the profession forward, and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at +1 303 946 1941.
Messages from Q3 2021
Philip Graham Varley MBA FCA
I am excited about beginning my four year term representing members in the USA (Central, South and West Coast) and Central and South America. I look forward to expanding my connections with members throughout the region, beyond just the Denver Chapter and those I've had the pleasure of knowing over the past 10 years with ACAUS, now CAW Network USA. I strongly encourage any members new to the USA to join a CAW Network USA event to network in a friendly setting.
Meet your ICAEW team
We have a global network of contact members who can provide on-the-ground know-how for ICAEW members wishing to move to the region, and for those already living there.
Helen is the ICAEW Member Engagement Manager for Australasia and North America and is ICAEW's main point of contact for members who are based in North America or Australasia.
Mark qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1995, working for PwC. He has expertise in the energy, infrastructure, real estate, and aerospace & defence sectors. Mark has also been a member of the ICAEW Board since 2018.
Philip Varley graduated as a Chemical Engineer from Imperial College London in 1979, where he now has the honour of serving on their Strategic Advisory Board. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1982, and after working for Arthur Andersen in London, moved to the United States and became a CPA in Colorado in 1986.