Many years of service to the accountancy profession was recognised when John was elected as the 2020-21 President for ICAEW across Staffordshire, Shropshire and Wolverhampton.
The ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) is a professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports chartered accountants and students across the world. In 2019, it has over 181,000 members and students in 148 countries.
It has a strong presence in the West and North Midlands and John took over at a crucial time for the sector.
“ICAEW plays an important role in supporting local members to address the unprecedented challenges facing the profession and how they advise the businesses they serve. Even before Covid-19 became a factor, there was a lot to take in due to the digitalisation and modernisation of tax systems and, of course the fall-out from Brexit,” said John..
“Technology and automation has changed the skill set for many accountancy professionals and this became one of my primary focus points for my year in office. The rapid advance of cloud accounting, automation and artificial intelligence into traditional accounting and tax compliance has been embraced by many in the profession. Fortunately, the technology provides vital tools and insights for accountants in their Covid-19 advisory work with clients.
“Cloud accountancy, for example, through the Xero platform, is an area I have pinpointed in recent times to give my clients a competitive edge and I recognise there’s a need for more focus and training across the sector.
“My appointment was announced in June 2020, as the UK’s businesses faced up to the challenges presented by Covid-19. The impact of the pandemic was huge for the accountancy sector and our firms played a major role in advising their clients on how to chart a way through lockdowns and access business support packages.
“At one point, advice and support packages were changing almost weekly and it was fantastic to see ICAEW members rising to the challenge. From securing loans to supporting companies through furlough, our members have had a major role to play to ensure business survival, particularly across sectors such as retail, travel and hospitality.”