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Chartered Accountants are known for having high levels of competence in Excel and but rarely have a matching skill level in PowerPoint. Accountants don’t regard the presentation of their data as a mission critical skill even though the goal of our data analysation is to communicate information clearly and efficiently to executives and clients. Instead, it’s often seen as something to be used to humour executives during big meetings.  When we asked accountants to rate their skills out of five, they consistently rate their Excel skills at four (with a suggestion that modesty featured as a constraint) and their PowerPoint competence at two (with a suggestion that this might be more than PowerPoint deserved).   We rate our Excel acumen so highly because we are experts only at what we do, and we practice the same Excel actions a lot. The sporting adage of “use it or lose it” is particularly apt for technology where reflex keyboard actions and habit all but blind us to changes in the environment.  Excel can change but most of us are too busy to notice and just carry on doing what we always did the way we always did it. Keeping yourself abreast of current updates in Excel is just as important to your job as the output that you get from the programme. The PowerPoint and data visualisation requirement is very different.  As referred to earlier, skills here are lower and discussions with accountants indicate that this is largely down to two misconceptions:  one, that with advances in Excel dashboard functions and general flexibility, PowerPoint will diminish in importance as a tool for presentations of financial information; and two, that data presentation skills are not really core for accountants.   Both are seriously wide of the mark. First, Microsoft explicitly places PowerPoint front and centre in their plans to develop tools (including Excel and Power BI) to improve the way data is converted to information and shared.  Second, Chartered Accountants have a vital role in helping line managers acquire the information they need to make financially informed decisions and therefore a duty to make sure that the information is clearly understood.  Data visualisation enables decision makers to see analytics presented simply, helping them grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns in the data. Presenting numbers and financial statements in traditional formats that are comfortable for accountants but obscure to others is lamentable, especially when less than a dozen easily acquired techniques can transform the way people react to and benefit from presentations.  Building on your skills in Excel and transferring those skills into more advanced data visualisation programmes like PowerPoint can really help you to add value to your organisation and advance your career.   Jack Foley is a director in FaB Practice Ltd and a trainer in digital visualisation with Professional Training. Jack will be delivering the course Data visualisation with Excel and PowerPoint for accountants on 30 November 201.

Oct 23, 2017
Press release

Agreement follows landmark MRA with US CPA bodies Chartered Accountants Ireland is pleased to announce the signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement with its counterpart in Singapore, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) today (Monday 20 November 2017). The MRA will enhance the global portability and international stature of the Chartered Accountant designation, and follows on the recent renewal of our recognition agreement with the biggest professional accountancy bodies in the USA. The MRA was signed on Sat 18 November by Mr Barry Dempsey, Institute Chief Executive with Mr Lee Fook Chiew, Chief Executive Officer of ISCA and  at a Chartered Accountants Worldwide global meeting in Brussels. Both ISCA and Chartered Accountants Ireland are members of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, a global body which brings together 12 chartered accountancy bodies connecting and representing the interests of over 1.7 million members and students globally. Commenting on the signing of the agreement with the Singapore Institute, Chartered Accountants Ireland President Shauna Greely said: “On behalf of my fellow members across the globe, I welcome the announcement of this important recognition agreement with ISCA in Singapore.  For Irish Chartered Accountants, this agreement with ISCA further underlines the international credentials of the Irish Chartered Accountancy qualification, and will facilitate our members to progress their careers in one of the most exciting and dynamic of financial hubs, not only in Asia but anywhere in the world." Dr Gerard Ee, President of ISCA, said, “The RMA with Chartered Accountants Ireland further enhances the career mobility of Chartered Accountants of Singapore and reinforces ISCA’s position as a globally recognised professional accountancy body. ISCA members who have completed the Singapore CA Qualification can now attain Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Chartered designation, in addition to the chartered accountancy designations conferred by ICAEW and ICAS. The MRA is also in line with our strategy to better prepare members for the future economy, as the business environment becomes increasingly globalised.” ISCA is the designated entity to confer the CA (Singapore) professional designation. Presently, ISCA has over 32,000 members. ENDS Reference:  Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland, T: +353 1 637 7268

Nov 20, 2017
Press release

Chartered Accountants Ireland, the largest and premier accountancy body on the island has today (Friday 17 Nov 2017) welcomed Ms Áine Aherne from Ballinhassig, Co Cork as its 26,000th member. The 26,000 milestone confirms Chartered Accountants Ireland’s position as the dominant accountancy designation on the island of Ireland.  Chartered Accountants Ireland now has almost 17,000 members in the Republic of Ireland, 4,000 in Northern Ireland, a further 2,000 based in Great Britain. The Institute has a further 3,000 members overseas in over 100 countries.  Over 50% of professional accountants on the island of Ireland are Chartered Accountants, and its membership has increased by over 24% in just five years. Chartered Accountants Ireland President Shauna Greely welcomed Ms Aherne, who trained with KPMG and is currently working with Ervia, to the membership of Ireland’s premier accountancy body. Ms Greely said: “On behalf of my fellow Chartered Accountants, I am delighted to welcome Áine and all recently conferred members to the ranks of the profession. The rate at which the profession is growing points to the standing in which the Chartered qualification is held and the exciting career opportunities available.  Our members, Chartered Accountants, play a vital role in business and we are very pleased to help introduce more well-qualified, experienced and skilled people to the economy. “I would like to congratulate Áine and all other new members in their achievement. I hope that by reaching this landmark figure and highlighting their success, we can encourage many other talented young people to consider Chartered Accountancy as the best possible start to a career in business.”  Further information about a career in Chartered Accountancy can be found at www.charteredaccountants.ie or by emailing info@charteredaccountants.ie.  Photo - pictured are Chartered Accountants Ireland’s President Shauna Greely (r) with the Institute’s 26,000th member, Áine Aherne. Ends Reference:      Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager E:                         bryan.rankin@charteredaccountants.ie M:                      +353 1 637 7268  Notes to editors: Chartered Accountants are Ireland’s leading business professionals, providing essential business advice in every sector of the Irish economy.  Established by Royal Charter in 1888, Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s largest and fastest growing accountancy body, now with 26,000 members. It is the voice of the accountancy profession in Ireland.

Nov 17, 2017

What I Have To Say

  • The One Young World experience exposed me to our international Chartered Accountancy colleagues and highlighted that this is a network we must capitalise on to make global change
    Olivia MacDonaldCurrent Student
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