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Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

At the heart of northern business since 1882

Message from the President 1 May 2019

In the first President’s Message I wrote last September I mentioned that we live in interesting times; how true this continues to be. I expected that by now Brexit would have happened and we would all be involved in working through what the full implications of this would be. As I write we are no nearer reaching an agreement although whether you are a “leaver” or a “remainer” we can all agree that the continuing uncertainty is not good for our economy and does impact our region.

I have just returned from the United States and from news coverage two things are apparent. Firstly, it is clear that President Trump continues his policy of “America First” and secondly there is very little interest in U.K. politics and Brexit in particular. Again, this will have an effect on UK Plc and inevitably the North East and Cumbria.

In February, Deputy President Keith Proudfoot and I attended the District Society Office Holders’ Conference at Moorgate Place. This was an interesting day and very useful to catch up on ICAEW priorities.

  • President Paul Aplin discussed the value of membership and the Institute’s international strategy. He stressed that increasing membership numbers across the globe does not decrease the value of our qualification and that the rigour of the exams remains a priority.
  • CEO Michael Izza talked about strategy with particular focus on the future of audit and the ramifications this may have right across the profession. The Institute is fully engaged with all of the various enquiries currently taking place to ensure our voice is heard in the process.
  • Council Member Will Brooks has recently led a working party looking at District Societies organisation and finances. The conclusion is that most Societies do not lack funds and the majority are in good shape.
  • There was an interesting discussion on the constitution of District Societies; whether they should be branches of the Institute or separate legal entities as now. Although each has its advantages it is quite clear that my fellow Presidents and I are strongly in favour of maintaining the status quo.
  • Communication with members is a continuing issue and at present the future of “Economia” is under review. The majority of members want a more personal multi channel approach with more use of technology and Apps.
  • Finally, there was some discussion of District Society boundaries. There are some historical anomalies which may be to resolve although there is likely to be no impact on NorSCA.

I am looking forward to welcoming newly qualified members to the Northern Society Graduation and Prize Giving ceremony which is to be held on 11 May 11 at King’s Hall, Newcastle University. This is an opportunity to recognise the achievement of students and also to acknowledge the support given by families and friends. It’s a very happy occasion so let’s hope for good weather for the all important photos!

We are also in the process of organising an event to recognise 10 years of qualification (more details to follow). The significance being that this is the time when members can apply to become an FCA. It will be a great chance to catch up with old friends and to find out more about how to become involved with NorSCA and Branch activities.

Both of our Student Societies; NCASS and CCASS continue to go from strength to strength with a varied programme of events in the North East and Cumbria. Please encourage students to be involved. I also must congratulate NCASS for winning the PQ Award for national Student Body of the Year 2019. This is the second time NCASS has been successful in three years, a wonderful achievement and great credit to all involved.

In conclusion I want to thank all of my fellow officers, in particular Keith Proudfoot and Chris Soan, members of district and branch committees (Please do get involved it really is great fun!) various sub committees and groups for help and support throughout my Presidential year. Particular thanks to our ICAEW regional team, Joanne Lucking, James Callaghan and Alison Tait for making so many things happen.

Northern Society is without doubt one of the most vibrant and active District Societies, (find out more at norsca.co.uk) and it has been my privilege to be your President.

Alan Johnston,
President, Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

About Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants (NorSCA) represents 4,000 ICAEW members and ACA students working in business and the finance profession across the North East of England, Teesside, northern Yorkshire and Cumbria.

We have been assisting businesses in the north of England and producing chartered accountants for over 130 years.


There are over 1.7m chartered accountants around the world – talented, ethical and committed professionals who use their expertise to ensure we have a successful and sustainable future.

Over 149,000 of these are ICAEW Chartered Accountants. We train, develop and support each one of them so that they have the knowledge and values to help build local and global economies that are sustainable, accountable and fair.

We’ve been at the heart of the accountancy profession since we were founded in 1880 to ensure trust in business. We share our knowledge and insight with governments, regulators and business leaders worldwide as we believe accountancy is a force for positive economic change across the world.

ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance.

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