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It’s kick-off to a brighter future post COVID

Incoming London Society of Chartered Accountants president Viresh Paul discusses his vision for the year.

You spend a lot of time preparing for a major transition in your personal or even professional life. You consult people who have been there in the position before you. You take a look at how you can pick up all the good and great ideas. After all, you want the organisation you’re going to preside over to end up being in a fitter and better position. And then it’s kick-off time (sorry the Euros are on my brain at the moment!).

That is where I find myself. I never aspired to become the President of the London Society of Chartered Accountants. But, I am honoured and proud to take up the helm of an organisation that has been in existence for over 150 years. In fact, we only just celebrated its 150th anniversary with Prosecco and excellent chocolates – but all virtually, on Zoom.

I was hoping that all the uncertainties over the past year would be over by the time I start my year. Unfortunately, it looks like even that has been delayed. As a result, there might be small changes to the course but the direction of travel still does not change.

I want to focus this coming year on reaching out to as many as possible of our 36,000 members. This is a huge, disparate professional body even though we are, above all, members of ICAEW. The commonality is that we all live or work in what comprises the London district as per ICAEW’s mapping.

I mean to pull in not only practising accountants but also members who are in business. In this, I include the younger members and the students who will one day be members of the London Society.

So what is it that will get us all engaged is a question I have asked myself. In my mind, the starting point is improved communication and this magazine is the first step towards achieving that goal. Through this periodical, we aim to inform you and guide you on what you can do to become more involved in all matters to do with ICAEW and London in particular.

On the administrative side, we do have many committees which are there to manage events and other programmes of this district society. In fact, we also have a ‘main’ committee and a small executive committee. Not that it matters who does what, but one thing which is evident to me is that we need to communicate a little better about what we are all working on. Only then can we pass on the results of our combined efforts for the benefit of our members. You will shortly have available a Directory listing all the groups and committees that come under LSCA. This will give you contact details so that you can contact any of us and even join us if you are willing to volunteer. I have also introduced a new format for reporting to and running our quarterly main committee meetings with a view to improving communications between the committees and the rest of the membership.

Hopefully you will hear a lot about the actual work that the volunteers who make up these committees are doing on our behalf. We have also planned some events with a view to involving and inviting as many London members as possible. You will hear more of that during the year.

If there is anything else you feel we ought to be doing, then do please get in touch with either the committee chairs or with me. I would love to hear from our members in London about how and in which way we can not only improve communication but how we can serve you better. Service above all is what I believe in. I have served as the chair for Britain and Ireland of the world’s largest service club organisation, Lions Clubs International. I hope to use the experience I have gained there in making this organisation work even better for the benefit of our members with more and more involvement for all. I hope you will all help me carry the torch and make this as good a year as any having just come out of a very strange period in all our lives. What lies ahead can only be brighter and better so onwards and upwards.

London Accountant

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