Jersey Society Of Chartered And Certified Accountants
Gemini Cottage, La Rue du Douet de Rue, St Lawrence, Jersey, JE3 1GYwww.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jersey Society of Chartered and Certified Accountants was formed on 7 March 1974 and in the year 2014 the Society will be proud to be able to celebrate its 40th anniversary year.
The Society has benefited from the wisdom and leadership of some notable people who have taken their turn as President during this quarter century since its foundation. The following link shows the full Presidential Roll that includes two previous holders of the post of Treasurer of the States of Jersey, eminent and distinguished figures such as Jurat Peter Blampied, and many other well-known names at the top of the Island’s accounting profession.
From its inauguration to date, the Society has consistently played an important role in the Island of Jersey. This role has not just been in respect of its representation of the accountants who are its members, but also by its participation in matters relevant to the Island’s economic well being, particularly in connection with the finance sector.
It is only right that the Society should recognise the significant contribution that was offered in its early days by Peter Blampied, a former managing partner of Coopers & Lybrand. It was Peter Blampied who was one of the prime movers behind the formation of the Society. In 1954 an association of Chartered accountants was formed with the name Jersey Association of Practising Accountants. Twenty years later many senior accountants in the Island thought that it would be beneficial to form a new body embracing Certified accountants with Chartered professionals, and not confined solely to those persons in practice.
Not everyone was supportive of the uniting of Chartered members with their future Certified colleagues. It was Peter Blampied who took the chair at that crucial meeting at the Hotel de France where it was proposed that the new association should be formed, and which was approved by a substantial majority.
The first annual subscription was agreed at the princely sum of £2 (!) per annum, and the first AGM recorded a total membership of 118. With a current subscription of ten times the original amount, and with a current membership of just over 500, circumstances and inflation have certainly moved on. Nevertheless the original objects of the Society are just as valid today as they were in 1974, being: -
to encourage co-operation between members, and to stimulate the interest and participation of members in matters concerning the accounting profession;
to provide a forum for discussion on matters of mutual interest and to provide a medium for expression of professional opinion on matters of public interest;
to communicate with the Jersey authorities and other professional bodies; and
to promote high standards of professional conduct.
The JSCCA has always had a very close relationship with its respective professional Institutes in the UK, and in particular the London & District Society of Chartered Accountants. Furthermore and right from the beginning to now, the Jersey Society has maintained close and effective links with its Guernsey counterpart, the GSCCA.
In its early years the Society had three key areas of activity: -
A programme of technical or generally and informative meetings and presentations, particularly throughout the winter months. Topics would include very relevant issues of the day, for example Capital Transfer Tax, but it wasn’t all hard work and no play – the Society’s archives indicate that there were certain “sessions” that were concerned with more serious matters such as wine-tasting and tours of a well known Jersey brewery.
A focus on the applicability, or otherwise, of UK and international accounting standards, to the work of Jersey accountants as relevant to Jersey’s special business circumstances.
A mechanism to enable Jersey professional accountants to offer a view to the Jersey authorities on proposed legislation concerning taxation and other issues affecting the business environment.
One of the early tasks of the Committee was to draw up a Statement of Jersey Accounting Practice, which was issued as an Exposure Draft on 11 August 1978.
An early President’s report on taxation in the Island offered a view which must be as sensible and pragmatic today as it was in 1978, namely “…the Island’s system of taxation operates well because of the comparative simplicity of the income tax law…. and provides a broadly satisfactory base for the collection of revenue in an economic and equitable way….”. The success of the Island as a finance centre is undoubtedly due to the stability of our tax system and the simple fact that our tax laws continue to be extraordinarily straightforward compared to so many other jurisdictions.
On more social matters, a key annual event was (and continues to be) the Society’s annual dinner to which very senior local and UK dignitaries have always been invited. We have been blessed over the years with some very high powered, and often amusing, speeches.
Over the years there has also been an increased focus on the need to promote and support facilities for the education and training of young people in the profession -– indeed the sixth AGM of the Society specifically approved an amendment to its objects in this regard.
The promotion of accountancy as a career and the education of the Island's young people in matters of business and accountancy, continues to be an important strand of the Society’s activities. In 1990 the JSCCA established a Prize Fund to enable a cash prize to be awarded to the top local student in each exam during each year, a scheme which still operates today.
The Society continues today with very much the same agenda and key objectives as during its infancy. Not surprisingly the emphasis has changed on certain matters. For example, the monthly meetings of members that were used as a forum to look at 'issues of the day' have been replaced significantly by a more concentrated and formal annual event concerned with updating members on technical matters.
Today there is also a considerably greater amount of proposed or recently enacted local legislation that is of great relevance to, and impacts on, accountants in the Island. The UK professional bodies are also issuing more and more technical standards and pronouncements that seem to get lengthier and more complex with every issue.
Accordingly our members are busier than ever, and the Society plays an increasingly important role in representing the profession as regards changes to legislation affecting the local business environment. We are also often asked to offer a view to government on more wide ranging issues such as labour laws or control over the Island’s work force and population.
Today the Society’s Committees need to work hard, particularly our legislation Subcommittee. Whilst these Committees are still resourced by the Society’s members acting in a honorary capacity, as early as 1988 it was recognised that some “paid help” was needed, and an assistant secretary was employed for the first time.
Our members are involved in all aspects of business in the Island, and the public sector. We have members acting as principals or employees in the following key areas:
professional practices in the Island, acting as accountants, auditors and tax advisors to local and international businesses;
trust companies and financial institutions in the Islands;
companies not in the finance sector – e.g. retail, communications, transport; and
There are many accountants, of course, who no longer perform their daily work primarily as an accountant, but who have harnessed their accounting skills and experience to become leaders and senior personnel of organisations and businesses operating in the Island.
Accountants have a crucial role to play in commerce and the public sector in Jersey, whether such activities are specifically concerned with the finance sector, or otherwise. Other than the obvious role of providing the vital financial and management reporting framework for all enterprises and government, the accountant also assists greatly with ensuring the probity and accuracy of financial information offered by others. Furthermore many of the Society’s members satisfy the skilled and expert compliance roles which help in maintaining the Island’s good reputation elsewhere.
In respect of Island life generally, there is many a club, association and charity in Jersey where you will find that the honorary treasurer or auditor is a member of the JSCCA. The time and expertise that is offered in this fashion is incalculable, but undoubtedly vast.
With the Island's finance sector activities appearing to be more and more under the scrutiny of the European Union and elsewhere, in the world, than ever before it seems very likely that the JSCCA’s role in the future will be as extensive and demanding as it is now, and possibly more so than ever before.
One challenge for the Society will be to continue to address promptly, vigorously and thoroughly any legislation or changes that are proposed by the Island's government that affects our members and their businesses, or which we perceive might put the Island’s economy or good reputation at risk.
With ever increasing restrictions on the size of Island's population and its work force, there will be an increasing pressure on our members that might adversely affect their capability to deliver their services to their clients, or internally within their own businesses. To face these challenges, the JSCCA will need to demonstrate continually to all, the importance and value of the numerous key roles undertaken by accountants in the Island. The Society will also wish to promote accountancy as a worthwhile career to locally resident students and thus assist with reduction in numbers of imported personnel wherever possible.
Lastly the Society will wish to work actively with others – whether it be with other organisations representing commerce in the Island, or the Island's government. Indeed links are with Jersey Finance Limited, the Jersey Financial Services Commission and the relevant departments of the States of Jersey.
It is a challenging and exciting world ahead – indeed the key issues have not significantly changed over the last 40 years, but rather it is their complexity and magnitude that have. The Society looks forward to it's 40th celebrations in 2014 and beyond with the same enthusiasm and optimism for the future that it holds today.