Access to the accounting profession needs to improve, says new ICAEW President

ICAEW’s new President for 2018/19, Paul Aplin, wants access to the accountancy profession to improve to help attract those with the most ability regardless of background. Paul, a tax partner from A C Mole and Sons in the South West of England, will also focus on embracing digital technology and a connected global community during his year as President.

In a keynote speech at the President’s lunch at Chartered Accountants’ Hall says:  “We need to recruit the best. Irrespective of background. Irrespective of school, Irrespective of everything except talent, potential and attitude. As a profession we know that return on investment isn’t just about numbers and I want us to probe the barriers too many still perceive as blocking their path to the profession.”

As part of this, Paul aims to help ten young people from diverse backgrounds access the profession. The first, Khadijia, a student from Ghana whom the ICAEW Foundation helped on her way to getting her 2:1 in accountancy at university.

Paul qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1985 and joined ICAEW’s Tax Faculty Committee in 2001. During the last seventeen years he has served as its Chairman and Chair of its Technical Committee. He sits on HMRC’s Administrative Burdens Advisory Board. Paul was appointed OBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2009 for public service and services to the accountancy profession.

He will be succeeded as ICAEW President in June 2019 by Fiona Wilkinson, a technical consultant in the South West of England. Fiona qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1980 and spent 11 years with Deloitte in London and Jersey but also working in Europe and Canada.  Fiona then went on to set up her own practice, working as a technical consultant to firms advising them on auditing, financial reporting and practice assurance.

Fiona became President of the South West District Society in 2004/05 and turned it around by encouraging younger members, women and student representatives to become involved.  During the last thirteen years she has served as chair of the Professional Standards Board, ICAEW Board director and chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee.

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