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Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

At the heart of northern business since 1882

Signing off, for now 22 July 2022

A farewell message from our 2020-22 Northern Society President, Chris Soan

May 2022 saw me pass the Presidential baton onto Yvonne Gale and join the illustrious list of past presidents of the Northern Society

Virtual presidents during the pandemic

Keith Proudfoot and I were the ‘Covid Presidents’ and I was then able to prefix that title with ‘virtual’, having to adapt, like most of us, to the virtual world of meetings and events over the unusually extended 18 month tenure. 

Despite this, the wheels kept turning and I felt it important to add to the formalities of the AGM by writing something about this fantastic District Society with which I have been involved for over 12 years in various roles and what we actually do! 


Locally funded graduation ceremony celebrates successes

The Northern Society of Chartered Accountants is the umbrella district society and under that we have three branches representing the geographical spread of our district, as well as an active Student Society. 

The evolution from student to qualified member to retired member is such an important journey that we have to get right from the very beginning.  I feel that our Society does this well which, of course, helps succession planning for the various committees! 

In testimony to that, our well-attended annual ICAEW graduation ceremony at Newcastle University in the Spring, funded by our Society, celebrates prize winners and those completing their ICAEW Advanced Stage exams.

Volunteer support helps shape the future

Volunteers running a District Society, to support ICAEW members, brings obvious benefits to ICAEW.  In my view, the benefits to those volunteers include the expansion of professional and social networks as well as providing the opportunity of actively shaping the Institute’s future rather than perhaps passively sitting on the side lines as an observer.

Yes we run successful social events – dinners, gin tasting events etc but you can probably do that without us putting on an event.  However by us making contact with business leaders to craft events for members (and non-members) is not something you may be able to do yourself.  Over the years we have used our business contacts to arrange site visits, tours of a business, seeing behind the scenes of these businesses and often getting excellent overviews of that business’s concerns, opportunities and performances.

Understanding business

Northern Society celebrates its 140th birthday this year, and we have been at the heart of northern business since the society was founded in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1882.

We remain grateful for tours over the last few years at The Port of Tyne, Nissan with the opportunity of getting a full tour of its Sunderland Car plant.  We had a look behind the scenes of the north east’s light railway system (the Tyne & Wear Metro); and no portfolio of events looking behind a business would be complete without a trip to a Greggs factory. 

This year, in March, we held our first in-person behind the business event since 2020 at Brinkburn Brewery in Byker and I am sure similar events will follow. 

Regular engagement through ICAEW BCM events

The ICAEW runs the quarterly UK Business Confidence Monitor and at the Northern Society we take a regional analysis of this with the regional Bank of England delivering breakfast events, to members and non-members and free of charge.

[Read more about the Q2 2022 UK ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) Northern England results]

There’s so much more I can say but I’d like to reiterate that district society events are not always about posh dinners.  There are networking, business-interest, events that are open to everybody.  Please do not forget that Northern Society has its own LinkedIn page which, if you, join, will allow for notification of events. 

I must like the society so much that, despite stepping down as its President in May, I immediately accepted the welcome invite to become Vice President, thereby having another tenure as President in 2024, this time with ‘virtual’ hopefully being a dim memory.  My very best to Yvonne as President and Richard Slack as Deputy President, respectively, for 2022-23.

Chris Soan

Northern Society President

September 2020-May 2022

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 140 years.


There are more than 1.8m chartered accountants and students around the world and 189,500 of them are members and students of ICAEW. They are talented, ethical and committed professionals, which is why all of the top 100 Global Brands employ chartered accountants.*

ICAEW promotes inclusivity, diversity and fairness. We attract talented individuals into the profession and give them the skills and values they need to build resilient businesses, economies and societies, while ensuring our planet’s resources are managed sustainably.

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.

We believe that chartered accountancy can be a force for positive change. By sharing our insight, expertise and understanding we can help to create strong economies and a sustainable future for all.

Founded in 1880, we have a long history of serving the public interest and we continue to work with governments, regulators and business leaders around the world. And, as an improvement regulator, we supervise and monitor over 12,000 firms, holding them, and all ICAEW members and students, to the highest standards of professional competency and conduct.

ICAEW is proud to be 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.

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

*CAW, 2020 – Interbrand, Best Global Brands 2019

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