Matthews sets out ICAEW presidential plans
Ahead of taking on the role of ICAEW Vice President this June, KPMG’s David Matthews talks to London Accountant about his vision for the future, commitment to quality and how he plans to help restore trust in the accountancy profession.
London ICAEW member David Matthews will take on the role of ICAEW Vice President this June. He is no stranger to the workings of the Institute, having first joined ICAEW Council in 2010. He was asked to join the then Professional Standards Board, subsequently filling a vacancy at the Technical Strategy Board and eventually becoming the board’s chair.
But now he is preparing to take on three years as Vice President, Deputy President and ultimately President in 2020. “I believe passionately in the quality of the chartered accountant qualification and the value that accountants can play in society, particularly in the contribution that we have made over the years to the UK economy,” he says. “You only have to look into the higher echelons of business to see just how many of our large and successful companies have a chartered accountant at the helm.”
“And despite all the changes that are happening in the world, we have a continuing role and contribution to make, but it is important that we adapt because of the changing environment.”
Matthews acknowledges some of the issues that the profession and the wider business community are facing, such as Brexit and other geopolitical tensions, as well as technological developments, which are very real challenges. But he adds that there has been a general erosion of trust and confidence in business, together with a greater propensity to question and challenge business leaders. “We need to rise to those challenges to justify the confidence that is placed in our profession,” Matthews says.
His current day job is KPMG’s head of quality and risk management, a position he has held since 2012. It is a position, he says, that covers the firm’s risk management processes, work standards, ethics and integrity, and how the firm performs against those standards. “Society’s expectations around not just audit but other areas such as tax, has increased dramatically in recent years,” he says.
So what can ICAEW members expect of their leaders in the coming years? “Top of the list would be a well-respected qualification and profession,” he says. “Second to that, would be value to members, how individuals get value beyond the qualification. When you look at the diversity of members that we have, each individual has different needs. We need to be good at responding quickly to market pressures as well as member needs.
“The third area would be international influence. The quality of people that ICAEW produces has always been a key driver of change on the international stage, and I would like that influence to continue.”