President's welcome - December 2020

Nov 30, 2020
Welcome to a new edition of Accountancy Ireland, the last in what has been an extraordinarily difficult year for most. The best-laid plans made last December are by now  unrecognisable after months spent adapting to shifting realities.

Chartered Accountants Ireland started the year with the presumption that Brexit would be the main issue for members in their external environment. Although a global pandemic overshadowed it, the Institute has worked throughout the year to support members on Brexit-related matters and to advocate on their behalf.

As we approach the end of the Brexit transition period, our events and updates have continued. We recently opened registration for the third intake of students for our Certificate in Customs and Trade and, in the final quarter of the year, launched a new Brexit Digest e-newsletter full of practical guidance for businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

In recognition of Chartered Accountants’ critical role in driving the sustainability agenda, the Institute also recently published the Sustainability for Accountants guide, along with a Sustainability Hub on our website. The fight against climate change is now a corporate imperative.

Moving our gaze west, Americans have gone to the polls and the New Year will bring a new administration. In this edition, we look ahead to what the next four years might bring. Change is also afoot in global tax, and Accountancy Ireland looks at the OECD’s proposed reform of the global digital and corporation tax system.

Closer to home again, the Institute has endeavoured to respond quickly and effectively to meet the needs of members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary focus has been on providing timely, helpful and practical support to members as they serve their clients and steer their organisations.

As an educator, we are acutely aware of the challenges facing students during these months. Our education provision has evolved dramatically over the last year and our CAP1, CAP2 and FAE programmes successfully launched on our new online education platform. Producing the highest-calibre finance professionals is more important than ever for our economy.

This festive season will be very different, but I’d like to wish members and students a peaceful, safe and enjoyable Christmas. For those who find themselves in particular difficulty, remember that assistance is available from CA Support. You can find details on our website.

Thank you to the committees, volunteers, management and staff of the Institute for their efforts during 2020. I hope that we can make a return to a more normal way of life in the New Year.

Paul Henry