As our newsfeeds continue to bombard us with negative media reporting and gloomy prospects for the months ahead, we’ve taken the time to reach out to our community in search of some much-needed positives.
The global outbreak of COVID-19 presents the world of accounting with an unprecedented opportunity to embrace new processes and adapt to change. While it’s easy to perceive change as a negative force, here at INAA, we believe in leveraging new challenges to fuel progress.
Join us as we check-in with some of our INAA members from across the globe to shine a ray of hope on recent events and accountancy updates.
After working his way up the ranks as a seasoned Direct Tax and Tax Advisor, Pallav decided to study for the Independent Directors Exam to open new doors for his professional development.
Following legislative changes to India’s Companies Act in 2013, organisations who meet certain criteria are required to have a minimum of two independent directors on their board.
To qualify, an organisation must satisfy one of the following:
- Rs. 100 million or more of paid-up capital
- Turnover in excess of Rs. 1 billion
- Debt exceeding Rs. 500 million
Additionally, if a listed organisation doesn’t qualify for any of the above, one in every three board members must be a certified independent director. With this in mind, Pallav felt it was important to upskill his credentials and refresh his understanding of the Companies Act to open himself up to future directorship opportunities.
Why Are Independent Directors Valuable?
After discussing Pallav’s recent achievement, he explains how the push for educating independent directors stems from a nationwide effort to promote best working practices and encourage companies to make a positive stamp on the world.
While internal board members are usually profit-driven and focus on ways to leverage their personal position, independent directors provide an impartial perspective that can incentivise decisions that benefit the wider society. Whether it’s addressing internal policies on a company’s carbon footprint or conducting pro bono work to support marginalised communities, independent directors can drive forward-thinking initiatives and champion corporate responsibilities.
Ultimately, independent directors are responsible for empowering exterior stakeholders, not just internal shareholders.
Pallav explains how he successfully worked through all 49 modules of the online course before completing the online assessment. With over a decade of industry experience under his belt, he enjoyed the opportunity to refresh his memory, cement his understanding of emerging concepts and enrich his professional capacity.
Embracing The New World of work at SRA International
While recent events have promoted disruptions across the entire accountancy sector, we’re proud to announce the successful reaction of INAA board member, SRA International, to the new world of work.
SRA unites SME audit, accountancy, and tax firms to assist them with all aspects of their business operations. We sat down with Internal Policy Manager, Mieke Herinckx-Meijer and Account Coordinator, Anne Marie Ritter to discuss how they’ve adapted to recent events and embraced change as a stimulus for progress.
Taking Activity-Based Working Online
After celebrating the move to a new set of offices at the end of last year, Anne Marie explains how the company was excited to open a new chapter and kickstart a novel approach to working.
Their investment into spacious offices and equipping all employees with laptops was designed to empower a mobile workforce that had all the tools they needed to work flexibly. While the move was initially met with hesitation, Anne Marie and Mieke describe how they were finally beginning to find their rhythm at the end of February.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and their plans were flipped upside down by a nationwide lockdown on March 15th. While the change felt like a huge backward step, the pair were pleasantly surprised by SRA’s ability to leverage their new set-up and embrace remote working. In fact, Mieke describes how the shift to remote working has actually increased efficiency in many areas and helped employees strike a healthy work-life balance.
Virtual Meetings Improve Work-Life Balance
During ‘normal’ times, Mieke explains how one of her key responsibilities is to conduct quality reviews at member firms across the country. After spending hours in her car to move between back-to-back meetings, she describes how the forceful transition to remote working as a “breath of fresh air”.
The ability to conduct efficient meetings with zero travel time means she no longer faces a daily schedule of back-to-back meetings and infuriating traffic jams. She hopes the successful adoption of virtual meetings across the SRA network will trigger a long-term shift to alternative communication methods.
Client Relations Are at an All-Time High
One of the biggest success stories for SRA in the last few months has been their ability to connect with clients and support them through tough times.
During the lockdown period, SRA made it their #1 priority to invest in their members and take time to check-in with each of them individually. They were committed to providing frequent updates on the latest government announcements and maintaining open lines of communication throughout the disruptions.
Both Anne Marie and Mieke reflect on how their day-to-day focus shifted away from the usual grind to offer hands-on support to clients and adopting an agile client-oriented approach. While this kind of initiative would usually take months to action, the unprecedented situation triggered an immediate response.
Embrace change with INAA
INAA was created around a shared vision to make global business personal and take personal business global. We connect accounting firms who are committed to delivering quality professional services and sharing their expert knowledge with clients.
As the accountancy sector continues to toil with new challenges, we’re proud to hear of our members embracing change through global conversations and collaborative action.
Join today to build powerful business relationships.