PracticeAccounting FirmsProfession must earn public respect

Profession must earn public respect

Accountants must fight to retain respect if they are to avoid the fate suffered by teachers, according to the new president of the ICAEW.

Link: ICAEW chief calls for overhaul

Paul Druckman, who once taught maths and PE at a north London comprehensive, said he had seen what could happen when a profession’s reputation worsened.

Druckman, who took over the reins at Moorgate Place on Wednesday, said the children he taught were disrespectful to teachers: ‘If there isn’t respect, life becomes stressful and you don’t attract high-quality people. If we allow that to happen in the accountancy profession we will die.’

He said the greatest threats to accountancy’s standing were scandals and unprofessionalism. ‘We are in danger of becoming a society that is so greedy it lacks moral fibre. But I’ve found people who make a success in business don’t do it by cheating.’

According to Druckman, the solution is to demonstrate that accountants are leaders in business and the community. He said the institute had introduced measures like continuing professional development and practice assurance in the public’s interest.

Druckman was chairman of both the IT faculty and the institute’s SME forum. He replaces outgoing president David Illingworth.

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