Andrew Brathwaite, President of the Institute of Charted Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) at the ICAB Annual Conference.

ICAB President: Practice what we preach

Andrew Brathwaite, President of the Institute of Charted Accountants of Barbados (ICAB), has advised the accounting profession to be prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

While addressing the audience of accountants at the ICAB Annual Conference last week in the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, under the theme “Charting the Course Exploring the Possibilities”, he stated,

“In November 2010, I addressed this annual conference for the first time as President, I raised a number of matters that we believed were a matter of significance and required urgent attention. I also commented at that time as chartered accountants we have a responsibility to play a leading role in addressing those challenges, today seven years later the challenges and threats both external and internal seems to have intensified. Tomorrows professional accountants need to possess an entrepreneurial spirit, curiosity, creativity and strategic thinking skills. Are we up for the challenge? It is clear that the rest of the world is moving relentlessly – whether we keep pace or not.

“We are currently experiencing the Fourth Industrial Revolution described as a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital, and biological worlds; impacting all disciplines, economies and industries. This includes
merging technology breakthroughs in fields such as robotics et cetera. We are being warned that robots will soon take our jobs. How the Fourth Industrial Revolution will play out, which jobs will thrive and which will not, is impossible to accurately predict but if this country and the Caribbean region will have any chance of meaningful survival then we must certainly cultivate the skills to navigate the turbulence, and we must get a lot better at dealing with the low hanging fruits and implementing our plans.”

Brathwaite asked the accountants, “As professional accountants and leaders in your perspective organisations, what have you been doing to produce your goods and services more efficiently and in so doing increase national competiveness? How are you measuring internal and external service standards and what are you doing to achieve service excellence? What key performance indicators have you established and are you diligently measuring these and relentlessly seeking to improve? Does your organisation culture support innovation, and what are the recent examples of this innovation? What is employee engagement like and what are you doing to improve it? These are all minimum strategic imperatives that have to be mastered if we are to keep pace in the rest of the world.”

The President of the ICAB highlighted, “As an institute we need to practice what we preach and model the values and practices that we would like our members and the rest of the country to exemplify. Our strategic plan and action plan is monitored quarterly by council and published in our annual report as part of a detailed account of our progress. We continue to develop initiatives that will enable the profession to give back the community and serve the public’s interest, we are inviting members and the public to join activities to mark International Anti-corruption Day on December 9. Also, within the next few months we expect to launch our inaugural annual public sector financing reporting and management rewards.” (NB)

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