Institute President’s New Year’s message to members

Jan 02, 2019

Dear members

 As we commence the New Year, on behalf of Council, staff and on my own behalf, I would like to wish all our 27,000 plus members, located in 93 countries around the world, and their families,  good health and best wishes for 2019.  One of the greatest strengths of Chartered Accountants Ireland is the breadth and diversity of our membership, with many holding senior leadership positions and we are very proud of their achievements and contribution to the global economy.

As highlighted by the recent independent 2018 Member and Student bi-annual Research Study, where members satisfaction ratings increased by 5 percentage points relative to 2012, and the Student Net Promoter Score was up 14 points since 2014, Chartered Accountants Ireland is currently in a healthy state, with a strong governance framework, and a seamless transition between Presidents.  As many of you will know, Chartered Accountants Ireland is the largest, longest established and fastest growing professional accountancy body on the island of Ireland. But there is no room for complacency. We don’t have the option of standing still. The greatest risk, is to take no risk at all.

The world is continually evolving and unforeseen circumstances are arising at an alarming rate. The uncertainty around Brexit, the economy, social demographics, politics, laws, growing regulation and climate change are some examples of complex challenges facing modern organisations. But every challenge is also an opportunity.  The accounting profession’s opportunity is to expand its capacity and capabilities to embrace new technologies and apply core accounting skills to a wider range of services.

It is encouraging that within Chartered Accountants Ireland, there is a commitment and a humility, especially among our pro-active volunteers and staff, to seek how we could do things better. We must be prepared to push out the boundaries, to support our members to change lives and embrace new and emerging technologies.

CEO Barry Dempsey, along with senior management colleagues and I were honoured to attend the World Congress of Accountants from 5-8 November past in Sydney. The event, held once every four years, focused on the key themes of trust, ethics, diversity, sustainability and new technologies poised to shape the future roles of our profession. All topics, I’m glad to say, that Chartered Accountants Ireland has been working hard to advance.

Ethics must be embedded at the heart of the forward looking business landscape. We are now operating in an environment in which the rules of what is acceptable behaviour are far more stringent, and I suggest the question accountants must ask themselves is not “Can I”, but “Should I”.

Looking to the future, I am confident that the Chartered Accountants Ireland joined-up family will work together with a common and united goal, for Chartered Accountants Ireland to continue to be a progressive and outward-looking organisation, dynamically engaged with its many constituencies and driven by a vision, not just for itself, but for the communities it serves. We look forward to your continued support.

Onwards and Upwards

Institute President

Feargal P. McCormack