Members are at the center of what we do. Our first Members’ Engagement Day on 2 October was the culmination of 2 years of enhancing members’ interaction.
On this day exclusively dedicated to our members, we brought together key people in the European profession that otherwise would not meet : 12 Expert Group (vice) chairs, 20 Expert Group members, over 30 Members’ CEOs & Presidents, more than 25 member body staff and external speakers. For the first time, they had the opportunity to engage in cross-cutting discussions, share key information and give input on our work under a new and interactive format.
3 streams organised how we debated key issues affecting the profession:
- Learn and debate through presentations / panels
- Input gathering to share ideas
- Inspiring projects to hear from our member bodies
1 – Learn & Debate
Caroline Wellemans (Deputy Head of Unit, DG FISMA) spoke about how the EU is moving towards sustainable finance and how growth needs to take into account environmental, social and governance matters. She stressed that the issue goes beyond the environment and that better and more reliable corporate information is needed.
EC project on green bonds
Developing the green bond market is key for strengthening the sustainable European economy but is still relatively new. Issuers and investors are looking for ways to ensure green bonds’ transparency, comparability and credibility. The session looked into profession’s role in providing independent assurance on green bonds.
- Wim Bartels, Chair, Accountancy Europe Sustainable Finance Group
- Rami Feghali, Vice-Chair, Accountancy Europe Sustainable Finance Group
- Elisa Bevilacqua, Head of Department of Communications & Sustainable Finance, European Association of Co-operative Banks
Corporate Governance as a driver of a sustainable economy
Andrew Hobbs, (Partner, EY) and Michele Casò from our Corporate Governance Task Force, led this break out session on our thought-leadership initiative on corporate governance and the role it can play in bringing about a sustainable economy. The discussion revolved around this project’s origins and accountants’ strategic importance in this area.
Our Cogito publication Corporate Governance as a driver of a sustainable economy suggests 10 actions for boards and policymakers/regulators to help accelerate transforming the economy. Send your thoughts and opinions on how corporate governance needs to evolve to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 Nov 2019.
IAASB consultation on audit of less complex entities & how to best serve SMEs’ audit needs
Participants exchanged ideas on the IAASB consultation and our reponse to it. The discussion, introduced by Kai Morten Hagen (Vice-Chair on SME Audit) and our Deputy-President Myles Thompson, also focused on the role that Accountancy Europe and other stakeholders should play in the debate, and how to engage with the IAASB.
UK audit reform initiatives
Philip Johnson (Council member and Chairman of Policy Leadership Board, ICAS) focused on the latest intelligence regarding the audit market proposals of the UK government and market competition authority, the reform of the UK oversight body, and the review into the scope and purpose of the audit.
2 – Input Gathering
Tax & ethics: where is the ethical bar on tax services
What approach should Accountancy Europe take in the tax avoidance debate? Jens Poll, our Vice-President, James Barbour (Director – Policy Leadership, ICAS) and Dave Reubzaet (Director of Tax Strategy & Responsible tax, PwC) debated this through answering questions such as What role should ethics play in the tax system? Should tax advisors and accountants consider the ethics of the advice that they provide?
Christian Orth, David Herbinet
Extending the scope of audit
David Herbinet and Christian Orth, (Vice-Chairs of Accountancy Europe Audit and Assurance Policy Group) presented how the scope of audit could be extended based on their countries’ experiences. Members also shared their views on how the scope of audit could be extended, and on using data analytics & digitalisation to enable and drive audit quality.
Paul Gisby, Johan Barros
Evolving needs of SME & how the accountancy profession can help
Johan Barros & Paul Gisby (Manager and Senior Manager, Accountancy Europe) led this interactive session on Accountancy Europe’s SME strategy. It looks into future risks and challenges that European SMEs are facing, including cyber-risks, access to finance, supply-chain requirements, sustainability, technology and regulatory challenges. Participants contributed their ideas on how to move this strategic agenda forward.
Cogito project on the future of corporate reporting standard setting
Mark Vaessen, our Vice-President and Neil Stevenson (Director, Audit & Risk Advisory, Deloitte) shared the work done by our Task force working on the future of corporate reporting standard setting. They discussed its preliminary ideas and asked participants’ additional insights on connecting financial and non-financial information reporting standards.
3 -Inspiring Projects
This third stream focused on our member bodies’ inspiring projects and enabled participants to learn from each other experiences.
Attracting youngsters & future skills
The young generation is crucial for the future of the profession. Adela Vila (Director, ICJCE, Spain) and Tom Vile Jensen (Director, FSR, Danemark) presented their institutes projects Auditor for a Day and Skills for the Future.
Adela Vila – ICJCE, Tom Vile Jensen – FSR
Public perceptions & need for change
In the face of change, we must all adapt. Melanie Sack (Chief Operations Officer, IDW, Germany) presented the institute’s successful campaign to redefine its mission and the role and relevance of auditors. Robert Mul, (Director of Public Trust, NBA, Netherlands) shared the experience of NBA going under a global structural transformation to better serve their members.
Robert Mul – NBA, Melanie Sack – IDW
The feedback for this first edition has been truly positive and we are already discussing when the next one will take place. Stay tuned and check out Members’ News and the Insider, our newsletters for members’ only!