New president, renewed need for trust
As the new President of the London Society of Chartered Accountants, Nathan Steinberg sets out the urgent need to restore trust and proportionality for the accountancy profession.
It is a great honour to be chosen by my peers to represent London, the largest district society with about a quarter of the ICAEW membership. I hope that I can do the post justice by my work in the coming year.
I must thank my colleagues at Kreston Reeves who have given me a new lease of life and without whose support I would be unable to carry out this task.
I am very fortunate to follow past President Helen Brennan, whose tireless work has not only set an example to follow but has also set in place a number of plans that I simply have to implement, such as the new CPD offering and expanding communication with members.
I believe that the younger members are the future of our profession, which is why the first event I held was the mentoring event at Moorgate Place to encourage these members to be engaged with ICAEW. Continued engagement with younger members will be a constant theme for the next year.
However, I consider that the most important issues facing the profession are the recovery of trust, proportionality in the debate and ensuring an even playing field for our members. Following recent corporate failures, there has been a clamour for reform from government, the press and the general public.
There appears a lack of proportionality in the debate with all our members being attacked for certain failures.
There is a lack of recognition of the quality and service that our members provide as trusted advisers in the private client and SME business areas, ie the non-public interest sector. It is not equitable for our members to be subject to disciplinary complaints for corporate failures while the rest of the board, who share the responsibility, walk free.
I challenged Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the BEIS select committee, at the recent meeting at Moorgate Place regarding this and her comments were that this was being looked at.
We must ensure that new rules are introduced so that all board directors of public interest entities bear equal responsibility, not just our members.
As I said previously, London is the largest membership, with the city and financial services sector forming a large core of this membership. I intend to use the weight of this membership to campaign for proportionality and accountability for all public interest bodies.
I welcome support in this from all London members.
Nathan Steinberg is the President of the London Society of Chartered Accountants
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