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Back future of profession, urges President

Looking ahead at future key events – this October’s Pan Accountancy Lunch and next year’s UN Climate Change Conference - London Society of Chartered Accountants President Nathan Steinberg calls for members to sign up and fight for the future of the profession.

Left to right: Sir Mark Weinberg, Wendy Morton MP, Nathan Steinberg

August 2019

I do not believe in looking backwards, but I was delighted with the success of the recent event held by the LSCA with Sir Mark Weinberg, co-founder of wealth adviser St James’s Place.

Sir Mark did not disappoint the audience with his speech, which emphasised the need for proportionality in the debate relating to recovery of trust in the accounting and audit profession, as well as referring to the leaders of the profession with whom he had worked.

The LSCA was delighted that David Mathews, the incoming ICAEW Deputy President, joined us as well as Wendy Morton MP, former ICAEW president Paul Druckman, and Scott Knight, BDO’s Head of Audit, together with all the members that also attended.

Hopefully there will be a similar event this Christmas, so please look out for it in the future.

I would also urge members to book for the forthcoming Pan Accountancy Lunch on 4 October 2019 at the Mansion House. Liz Murrall, who is the director of Stewardship and Reporting at The Investment Association and has just been appointed as Chair of the Financial Reporting Council’s Corporate Reporting Council, will be sharing her views on what the investment community expects from the audit profession. 

It is vital that as many members as possible attend, so they understand how the profession is perceived by the investing public.

Turning to more worldwide issues, you will be aware that Paul Druckman has carried very important work on sustainability. 

You will no doubt have seen the David Attenborough series “Our Planet”, produced with assistance from the World Wildlife Fund. I recently saw the business cut of the series, which sets out the five simple actions to reduce the impact we are having on the planet.

This sets out the risks to us all of climate change, and the reality is that if nothing is done to rectify the position it may well be that within 50 years there is be no profession. No one will need accountants in a dead planet.

Obviously, I am unlikely to be around then, but we cannot be selfish and for the next generation’s benefit things must change. I hope that younger members will lead the challenge and I am sure that the LSCA office holders Deputy President Vicky Andrew, and Vice Presidents Viresh Paul and Indy Agnihotri who will follow me will support the younger members’ efforts.

It is anticipated that the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference will be held in London from 9-19 November 2020. As this will be in the 150th anniversary year of the formation of the LSCA, your executive is now considering what event we should hold to support the conference as part of these celebrations to ensure that there are 200th Anniversary celebrations. 

As member involvement is essential, we would welcome any member who is interested to become involved to contact megan.fitzpatrick@icaew.com

Have a great summer.

Nathan Steinberg is President of the London Society of Chartered Accountants and a consultant at Kreston Reeves.

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