Practice Advisory Board Forum 20 March 2007

I attended the first Practice Advisory Board (PAB) forum at Moorgate Place titled: The War for Talent – shaping our future – equipping you to attract and keep the best.

Nick Land, former chairman of Ernst & Young and now PAB chairman, outlined his vision for the PAB, saying its principal role was to establish strong networks in order to be:
? a campaigner as the voice and conscience of members in practice
? a catalyst to influence institute activities and services
? a focal point within the Institute for identification of issues
? a facilitator to improve communication with practising members

He confirmed that Ian Morris would be visiting district societies, town groups and practice support ventures.

Michael Izza, ICAEW CEO, then spoke about Institute strategy. There was a lot of discussion about the various Faculties and as a consequence the subject of a Practice Faculty was raised.

Ray Madden presented The Talent Game – Training and Education. Small practitioners I spoke to felt that this was targeted at larger firms, although the basic concepts applied across the board. Ray announced that Learning & Professional Development was setting up five regional development teams, and I am trying to ascertain what this means for the Thames Valley.The full presentation will be available on the ICAEW PAB website, when it is opened later in the month.

The ebullient Chris Frederiksen, chairman of the 2020 Group, then gave part one of Managing your only asset – Retention and Succession. His advice for recruitment was to get everyone involved with bounty payments and golden hellos.

Round table discussions then focussed on Retention and Succession, with some lively discussions on motivation of staff to become partners and the current problems.

After lunch Nick Land hosted four students from various stages of their careers. All were asked whether they picked ACA over ACCA/ACMA for any particular reason, none of them even thought about it, they wanted ACA and their feeling was that it was the firms that pointed their students down each path.

The student who had started in September reminded the audience that you can commence your career to becoming an ACA with A’ levels without the need for a degree and all the debt associated with it.

Chris Frederiksen then continued Managing your only asset and outlined 2020’s themes for 2006/7: outsourcing, interns and the paperless office.

Mark Protherough gave a brief presentation on the new ACA and the forum finished with a Q&A panel session, chaired by Nick Land.