We know small business.
October 30th 2023

A behind-the-curtain look at ICAS from Director, Karen Scholes

Some of you might be surprised to find out that as well as being Director at Scholes, I also hold the position of Vice President (VP) at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

This role brings me immense satisfaction, and I believe the work we do is of great value.

During my tenure as VP, my primary focus has been on engagement with small and medium-sized practices.

I've been committed to fostering communication and engagement with ICAS members to:

• Inform them about the activities and role of ICAS.

• Update them on our new 2030 strategy.

• Brief them on the recent changes to the 2024 Pathways to Education programme.

The latter is a subject about which I am particularly passionate.

Why is ICAS so important?

ICAS sets high professional and ethical standards while offering world-class education and training.

As a regulatory body, it ensures compliance and integrity within the industry.

ICAS also serves as a thought leader, publishing influential research and providing a platform for networking and collaboration among professionals.

With a commitment to innovation and adaptability, ICAS equips its members to meet the evolving demands of the industry, making it an invaluable asset to the wider accounting community.

What is the ICAS Foundation?

I believe it's crucial to eliminate any educational barriers within the profession.

I'm keen to ensure that everyone has the chance to pursue a career in accountancy if they want to.

This way, we have access to the best talent pool and can naturally select the most qualified individuals for roles in our firms, industry, finance leadership, or any other career path they choose.

As VP of ICAS, I have a platform to advocate for this cause and to promote the foundation as well as encourage donations, grants, and fundraising efforts.

There are several fundraising initiatives planned for both this year and the next, in which I am actively involved – so keep your eyes peeled!

How my role as VP benefits Scholes clients

My role at ICAS has proven to be incredibly beneficial for our clients at Scholes.

Most of my work remains within Scholes and my commitments to ICAS never infringe upon that.

Nonetheless, the insights I’ve gained during my time at the Institute have been invaluable.

Being part of ICAS allows me to hear about changes in the profession, whether in audit, tax, or educational pathways, directly from the source and well ahead of the public.

For instance, I've been involved in the new Pathways to Education programme from its inception, enabling us to adapt and benefit from it immediately.

One of our team members, Jessica, is already following one of these new pathways!

Moreover, my involvement with ICAS provides us with a unique vantage point on upcoming changes in regulation, technical skills, and areas like Anti-Money Laundering (AML).

I have gained insights into what government organisations such as the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) or the Office of the Complaints Board for Accountancy Services (OCBAS) are saying and what they expect from firms.

This first-hand, early information allows us to stay ahead of the curve and implement these changes directly within Scholes, ultimately benefiting our clients greatly.

I will be writing a few more ‘behind-the-curtain’ pieces about my time in ICAS so - if you haven’t already - subscribe to our newswire to be the first to read them.

To find out more about ICAS click here. Or to read about the services Scholes could offer you, click here.


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