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The Future for Accountancy with ICAEW President Julia Penny

Episode 23. In today’s interview, “The Future for Accountancy with ICAEW’s Julia Penny.” Julia is the incoming President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales. ICAEW part of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, a global network of 750,000 members across 190 countries, which promotes the expertise and skills of chartered accountants on a global basis.

Julia qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1989 and moved into a training role, initially teaching students and later moving into CPD training and technical roles. She specialises in audit, financial reporting and anti-money laundering and has worked for diverse organisations including Wolters Kluwer, Wilmington plc, Chantrey Vellacott and Baker Tilly (now RSM).

She rose to become chair of the ICAEW Technical Advisory Committee and then the Ethics Advisory Committee and was a member of both the Technical Strategy and Financial Reporting Faculty Boards. Julia has been a Council member since 2013 and an ICAEW Board member since 2017. Julia will become ICAEW President from June 2022 to June 2023.

Key takeaways from this episode include:

➜ how a smart person can ‘accidentally’ do an accounting degree

➜ comparing the various accountancy regulatory bodies, professional institutes and associations

➜ the role of the ‘powerhouse’ ICAEW and where its members come from internationally

➜ the key issues and challenges facing the accountancy profession right now

➜ where the pressures are coming from for accountants in practice, applicable to almost all countries

➜ what makes accountants more adaptable than people give them credit for

➜ who truly has the ear of the accountant with so many stakeholders and vested interests in the profession

➜ the increasing power of technology and its vendors in driving the agendas of accountants

➜ the issues and opportunities that affect how attractive accountancy is as a career for the younger generation

➜ the responsibility that regulators have in the accounting world, particularly in the area of audit reform

➜ what it will take for accountancy to move on from an older man’s game, and how ICAEW is pushing for more diversity and inclusion

➜ what makes the reputation of audit difficult, with mistakes being made and intense scrutiny from press and regulators

➜ what separates the good leaders from the great ones in accounting firms and the accountancy profession generally

➜ best advice for newcomers to the accounting profession in being more passionate about the career opportunities ahead

➜ why accountants do not progress far if they cannot network, present well and engage with people

➜ how a love for learning in accountancy and audit fuels a career and keeps one fresh and current

➜ the critical success factors and issues for an incoming president of an international institute for accountants like ICAEW

➜ what making yourself ‘bombproof’ means for accountants in making skills transferrable

➜ the importance of developing the softer, more commercial skills as well as the technical ones

➜ wisdom for accountants and CPAs who want to shape and have more control over their career

➜ predictions for what the accountancy profession will look like in five years time in regulation, technology, digitisation and working practices

Julia is married with two grown-up children (one of whom is also now a Chartered Accountant). In her spare time she enjoys playing golf, baking, investigating her family tree and working on improving her Spanish. You can reach her here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliaspenny

NOTE TO LISTENERS:

The Accounting Influencers Podcast is a CPE-accredited daily radio-style show with four segments coming out every Monday which are repeated on the other 4 weekdays as standalone episodes, plus a bonus ‘from the client’s perspective’ episode on Saturdays. On Sundays, listeners get a short min trailer for the coming week’s episodes.

Every Tuesday the show gives you a relevant news topic from the accounting and fintech world with a direct application to accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers. Great to stay informed and build your commercial acumen.

Every Wednesday and Friday, we feature an uncut interview with top authors, leaders, thinkers and performers in the accounting and fintech world.

Every Thursday the show gives you a practical ‘here’s what works’ tips concerning a key challenge, need or strategy for accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers. Great to stay current and keep your skills topped up.

Finally, every Saturday gives listeners a bonus episode which focuses on the buyers of accounting services – the clients themselves. In particular how they feel, react to and experience their interactions with accountants. That includes why they buy or don’t buy, why they move or stay and why they think how they think about you, your firm, your prices and your offerings.

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