Looking back at a successful 2016

Today we are publishing our annual review and financial statements for 2016.

2016 was a successful year for ICAEW. We saw another record year for student numbers, which have risen to 25,822 from 24,149 the year before. Our membership also continued to rise, ending the year at 147,538.

On the financial side, we closed the year with an operating surplus of £0.8m and overall surplus of £11.3m when fines and cost recoveries from disciplinary cases brought by the FRC are taken into account.

We also finalised our 10-year strategy review which has seen us transform from being a UK body to becoming a truly international organisation. Our new vision – a world of strong economies – helps us ensure that we remain relevant to our many audiences around the world.

Other highlights include our engagement with local and global political figures. Following the EU referendum last June, we were able to represent our members at the highest levels of government through meetings with ministers, including Theresa May herself. Our senior staff continue to meet regularly with government ministers and officials, as well as appearing before parliamentary committees, giving insight on topics that are important to our profession and the economy at large.

One such topic is tax. In 2016, we updated the Professional Conduct in Relation to Tax, responding to government’s call for professional bodies to take a greater lead in tackling tax avoidance and evasion. We also did plenty of work around Making Tax Digital, raising concerns about the regulatory burden it would impose on businesses and the timelines for its launch before it was dropped from the 2017 Finance Bill last month.

ICAEW has a global reputation that means governments, regulators and policymakers from across the world want to hear our thoughts on emerging challenges, not just affecting the accountancy profession, but also business and the public sector. We will seek to make the most of this influential position in 2017 and in the years ahead as we embrace and maximise the opportunities that this changing world presents.

I will be answering questions about the 2016 annual review and financial statements live online at 9:30 BST on Wednesday 17 May 2017. You can submit your questions via email to chief.executive@icaew.com or via Twitter using the hashtag #ASKICAEW.