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The Chartered Accountant Students’ Society of London (CASSL) Chair, Sunny Yang, shares the group’s vision for the next year.

A thank you to the past committee

In the past year, CASSL experienced a remarkable transformation as our committee collaborated to rebuild our standing among London ACA students through more than 10 successful events. As a testament to our efforts, we were honoured to have received the prestigious PQ Magazine Accountancy Student Body of the Year award. We owe much credit to the previous committee for their dedication in adapting CASSL to support students across the in-person events.

Most notably we saw the return of the CASSL Annual Ball which was attended by almost 150 guests. The night was rebranded to focus on celebrating diversity with speakers including Deborah Harris FCA, the first black woman President of the London Society of Chartered Accountants (LSCA) and myself, the first Chinese Chair of CASSL. Students were encouraged to wear traditional dress or black tie with the aim of starting conversations about the rich wealth of culture and diversity within the London region. 

Our newly rebranded networking events also stood out. In particular one at 100 Wardour Street, where CASSL was able to raise money for the Prince’s Trust. The Society also held a themed boat party with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) at the forefront as we continue to promote these important pillars to our membership and wider community. We have had students from many other professional qualifications and apprenticeships attend CASSL’s new networking events, which has contributed to their success. ACA students were able to form valuable connections and share their experiences with ‘the outside world’.

CASSL’s objectives for 2023/2024

It is an honour to be re-elected Chair for another year at CASSL. This year, our committee comprises a blend of new and returning members, all eager to contribute their utmost to the success of CASSL. This collective enthusiasm will allow us to build on the positive momentum from last year and reach new heights. Throughout the coming year, we aim to maintain high engagement levels and offer a diverse range of benefits to students across the region. Additionally, we are actively exploring opportunities to forge partnerships within our network, fostering closer collaborations for future events and services tailored to students' needs.

Objectives for the new committee and exciting events!

This year CASSL will implement strategies across our main social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to allow more ACA students to keep updated with CASSL events, receive valuable exam tips, and think more about the profession as a whole. We also look to establish strong partnerships with firms in London regardless of size, to make sure we represent as many students as possible.

Diversity and Inclusion is a key pillar of ICAEW's strategy. I am very proud to continue to lead a diverse team, including team members who have been nominated for multiple diversity awards from LGBTQ+ to promoting social mobility for ethnically diverse individuals. It has always been important for the society to be at the forefront in this area and reflect the ever-growing diversity within London as we approach a more globalised working environment. Given the success of our flagship ball event last November surrounding the theme of diversity, we will continue to host events that celebrate the diverse ACA community. We believe that by creating spaces that promote self-expression and mutual respect, we contribute to a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all individuals within the ICAEW community.

As Chair, I believe that guiding students to great opportunities in networking, learning, and succeeding is fundamental to the development of students as well as equality within the profession. CASSL’s mentorship programme will roll out our bilateral scheme, matching up ACA students to university students, and simultaneous ACA students to established ACA members to share tips and wisdom. In addition, we would like to work with other student/young professional organisations to develop this programme further so more people can engage with this fantastic opportunity.

As most ACA students will relate to the stressful periods of exam revision, CASSL aims to host more events to look after the wellbeing of our London based students to make sure they have a healthy work-life balance. We therefore plan to have more frequent smaller events such as football, yoga and fencing for students to have exposure to different hobbies, network and thoroughly enjoy their time as ICAEW students.

The upcoming year holds great promise for CASSL, as our committee is brimming with exciting ideas and plans. I am eagerly anticipating the journey ahead and I have full confidence that our committee members will come together cohesively united in our shared purpose of providing the best possible support to our students. Ultimately, our primary focus remains on serving our ACA student community and ensuring their needs are met in the most effective way possible. Together, we will navigate the evolving landscape and forge a successful path for CASSL in the year ahead.

Sunny Yang, CASSL Chair

Image of Sunny Yang, CASSL Chair