CEO comment - June 2020

Jun 02, 2020
We are in the middle of an unprecedented health emergency. In recent weeks, many of us have had loved ones, friends and acquaintances suffer illness, hospitalisation or worse.

It is an extremely difficult time for many. We must hope that the actions of businesses and the general public in following the official safety guidelines, combined with the herculean efforts of healthcare workers, will effectively curtail the spread of COVID-19 and a more normal life can resume sooner rather than later.

After safety, our key priority has been to ensure that we maintain the highest level of service possible for members and students during the health crisis. In terms of our staff, the collaboration across the board to bring all of our processes into a new way of working has been rapid.

For members, we have provided a vast range of insights, services and supports – from CA Support to Practice Consulting and Professional Standards supports – to individual members and firms through a busy schedule of webinars. The COVID-19 Hub also provides a one-stop-shop for members seeking information and guidance.
We are providing our members with the best information, skills, and guidance that we can.

For students, we have moved quickly to accelerate the changes that were already planned. Our e-assessment pilot interim exam has now concluded and sets us up well for the next development phase, to cover main exams later this year. On the delivery side, we see great innovation as we move online, supporting digital enrolment and changing how we support training organisations.

We exist to serve our members and students, and Chartered Accountants Ireland is a mirror of the profession. Our member firms, members, their clients, and students are under severe pressure and are experiencing some very challenging circumstances.
The crisis will also undoubtedly have some longer-term economic effects, and the expertise of our members will be vital in helping business and broader society overcome these challenges.

Over the past weeks, the Institute has moved quickly to step-up service to our members in their time of need, and our staff have responded rapidly to adapt to new ways of working.

I know that our Institute will come through this crisis as a stronger, smarter organisation.

As an Institute and as a profession, we are all in this together. Our Officers, our volunteers, and our staff right across the island of Ireland and beyond may be required to work from home, but they continue to work hard to support members in their professional lives.

We know that the skills of our members will be needed more than ever throughout the crisis and in the period of rebuilding ahead. We pledge to do all that we can to continue to effectively support our members, member firms, and students to make that vital contribution.

Barry Dempsey
Chief Executive