Strategy 2020 FAQs

  1. What are the key themes in the five year strategic plan?

    The five year strategic plan was signed off by Council in May 2015. It has three key strategic themes:

    • Attracting the brightest and best to be Chartered Accountants
    • Being relevant to members
    • Being the authoritative public voice of the profession

    The Institute will measure its success in delivering these strategic themes going forward. The strategy also sets out the values that Chartered Accountants hold and which we expect of each other. These values are the foundation of our profession and are at the centre of our strategy. Those values are:

    • We act to the highest ethical standards
    • We exercise professional judgement with integrity
    • We prize technical excellence and innovation
    • We respect others and the common good
    • We work together and individually to protect the trust given to the profession
  2. Have you looked at the resources required to deliver the plan?

    How will this impact on the sustainability of the Institute and how will it be maintained? The Institute considers sound financial management of its resources and physical assets to be of utmost importance. It is only through sound financial management that we can ensure that we deliver our strategy, and provide appropriate levels of support for our members and students. We are also aware that as a professional body of accountants, excellent financial management skills are expected as a matter of course by our members, the media and the general public.

    Our strategy, and specific initiatives to support our members, are implemented in the context of an overarching goal that the Institute will remain on a sustainable financial footing. This will be managed through a detailed business and financial planning process.

  3. Have you looked at the resources required to deliver the plan?

    Attracting the brightest and best to our profession, and providing them with the best possible training for a career in business is a key theme of our new Strategy. As this is such a key area for us, it makes sense that we review our activities here.

    We will be appointing a taskforce to re-imagine the education experience and to make it as relevant as possible to today’s profession. We will also ensure that the training experience received by students in training organisations is relevant and appropriate for today’s Chartered Accountants, the organisations in which our students train, and the students joining our profession.

    This taskforce, which will be chaired by a Council member, will be established in summer 2015, and will be expected to report its recommendations by Q1 2016, with implementation of a renewed programme in Q4 2016.

  4. Are we moving away from the Graduate Route in favour of a School Leaver Route?

    We have seen the impact of the reintroduction of third level fees in the United Kingdom. This is certainly driven an increased demand for the school leaver route in recent years. If a similar shift in policy takes place in the Republic of Ireland, we could see a significant increase in demand there too.

    In addition, there is an argument in favour of placing additional emphasis on school leaver entry on the basis that it has the potential to increase the level of inclusion and social diversity in the profession.

  5. Ethics is mentioned in the plan, what specifically is planned here?

    In the initial phase, we will work on the values of a Chartered Accountant and defining the code of ethics more clearly for members. Specifically, work will be carried out on the application and definition of the public interest to Chartered Accountants. The outcomes will be clearly communicated to members. We need to move from words into very specific and tangible actions that illustrate our commitment to ensuring that ethics is at the heart of what we do as Chartered Accountants.

  6. Relevance is one of the themes in Strategy 2020, how will this be achieved?

    We have articulated three themes within strategy 2020. These are attracting the brightest and best, relevance and voice. Each of these themes are interconnected and have real and implementable actions set out in the plan.

    In relation to attracting the brightest and the best, it is vital for the profession that we have a stream of excellent people to maintain and enhance the professions reputation. Each member accepts that by maintaining this reputation each member benefits from the collective reputation summed up in the title Chartered Accountant. Therefore the greater support that could be provided to all members is maintaining this reputation for the profession.

    In the plan we have set out the supports to members with regard to the relevance of our learning propositions. Education and training remain Lifelong assets, and the values instilled in and expected of Chartered Accountants remain central to how we conduct business. Relevance is therefore essential, while it may vary from one member to another or indeed from one year to another, in the career of each member.

    In relation to our voice, we have set out an ambition to do better in representing the legitimate interests of the profession and also the needs of business.

    In summary, by getting the three areas right, we will attract the brightest and the best, we will improve relevance and we will make our voice heard.

  7. Where does Regulation sit in the plan?

    We have set out in our goals that we aim to maintain our role as regulator of all Chartered Accountants, so that public confidence in the profession is maintained and enhanced. Our commitment to maintain the regulation of our members as Chartered Accountants holds true in the context of the transfer of the regulation of PIE (Public Interest Entities) auditors to IAASA (Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority). It is a principle that in the first instance regulation should be supportive of members in their day-to-day professional lives, backed with stringent but appropriate discipline.

    We have also noted that the regulation of audit firms is currently being reformed, and that this is being handled outside of the plan.

  8. Why has a distinction been drawn between the Profession and Chartered Accountants Ireland?

    In thinking about the strategy, we considered the profession in the first instance. This allowed us to formulate a clear vision for the profession. Chartered Accountants are the premier Irish business professionals, respected around the globe. Their training is an ideal foundation for agile business leaders who use their skills to create value in an increasingly complex and global environment. We will ensure that this is both the reality of being a Chartered Accountant and is accepted as being the reality by the business community and society generally.

    Our purpose articulates the role of Chartered Accountants Ireland, which exists to ensure that there are professional accountants, with the integrity, skills, expertise and judgement necessary to support the economy and society (and thus support our vision).

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