The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) new president for 2020/2021 David Matthews addressed the need for the profession to build economies fit for the future.

Speaking as he took office, Matthews said: “Chartered accountants have a fundamental role to play in creating strong and sustainable businesses, and therefore strong and stable economies.

“Societies and governments want businesses to deliver more than just short-term profits, and by identifying risks and providing insights to support sustainable decision-making, chartered accountants can help organisations provide more meaningful information to achieve broader policy goals, such as net zero emissions. This is particularly important now, given the post-pandemic focus on economic restart and recovery.”

Matthews also acknowledged the expectation gap and suggested that tackling the climate emergency and aiding global economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic would help inspire public confidence in the profession.  

He succeeds Fiona Wilkinson, a technical consultant in the South West of England, as ICAEW president. He will serve a one-year term until June 2021, when he will hand over to Will Brooks.

Matthews became an ICAEW Council member in 2010, and served as a member of the Professional Standards Board and as Chair of the Technical Strategy Board.