Making Accounting Great Again: An Evening of Reflection and Engagement on Campus

In a year where the accounting profession has often made headlines for the wrong reasons, the 2018 “Making Accounting Great Again” seminar served as a critical forum for addressing these challenges. Held at the University of Southampton, this event provided a platform for insightful reflection and future-oriented discussions led by Nick Parker, the President of the ICAEW for 2017-18. The seminar aimed to restore confidence in the profession by focusing on how firms and their members can reclaim their roles as trusted advisors and ethical leaders in business.

Restoring Trust and Ethical Leadership:

Nick Parker’s insights focused on the critical need for the profession to regain public trust by upholding the highest ethical standards. He discussed practical steps firms can take to ensure transparency and accountability in their operations.

Empowering the Next Generation of Accountants:

The “Making Accounting Great Again” seminar exemplified the importance of preparing future accountants for the complexities of the modern business world. By highlighting the profession’s challenges and offering actionable insights, the event empowered attendees to strive for excellence and ethical leadership in their careers.


Essential Ingredients:

  • An influential and experienced accounting or business professional to be interviewed by a member of faculty with practical experience.
  • An engaging Q & A session facilitated by the interviewer, ideally with a mechanism to allow individuals to ask questions without having to speak in public e.g. Vevox or Slido.
  • Networking Opportunities, a good lecture room / collaborative working space to host the event.

Finishing touches:

  • A budget to pay for light refreshments.
  • A dinner for VIP guests at an onsite restaurant afterwards.


This event was structured as a ‘fire side’ chat with a senior accounting professional.  As a member of ICAEW Council I had a personal connection with Nick.  However, you could reach out to a local politician, executive etc to get a similar perspective.

As a fireside chat, the process is significantly less burdensome for the guest than traditional keynote speaker which makes it easier for them to say yes to the opportunity.

The interactive Q & A session allowed attendees to delve deeper into the issues discussed. Participants had the opportunity to engage with the speakers, ask pertinent questions, and explore solutions for the challenges they face in their professional journeys.

The seminar provided a conducive environment for networking, enabling students, professionals, and educators to connect and share experiences. These interactions fostered a sense of community and collaboration, essential for driving the profession forward.

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