The Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants celebrated the latest accounting graduates from UCCI and ICCI and the next generation of Cayman’s accounting professionals at its fourth annual gala at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman last Saturday.
Education Minister Rolston Anglin congratulated the largest group of graduates and professional designation recipients in the history of CISPA. In total, 13 graduates received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on accounting from UCCI and ICCI, and 12 accountants were awarded their professional qualifications.
Mr. Anglin commended the CISPA counsel for its work within the community of promoting the profession.
“As long as the financial services industry remains as it is presently structured, we cannot have to too many Caymanians entering the world of accounting; we cannot have too many Caymanians aspiring to become professional accountants,” he said.
The minister also thanked CISPA’s member firms for “the stellar track record” they have set and the investment they “have made over the years into the people of these Islands”.
He encouraged the recent accounting graduates to sit and pass their professional examinations as soon as possible.
Mr. Anglin further asked the recipients of the professional designation to take on board that “from now on it is about how hard you work”. He reminded the professional accountants that they will have to make sacrifices “to get promoted and get promoted early”.
“When I look around I see every single firm with multiple sponsorship recipients, multiple Caymanians who went through their programmes, multiple Caymanians passing their professional examinations.”
He said the accounting profession compared very favourably to the legal profession, which does not “find the room for articled clerks”.
CISPA President Jeffrey Short noted that one of CISPA’s “foremost objectives as an organisation is to introduce young Caymanian students to accounting as an academic discipline and as a rewarding career choice”.
CISPA does this in part through mentoring programmes at the local high schools and in working closely with UCCI and ICCI. In addition, CISPA has partnered with the Ministry of Education to enhance numeracy training in local primary schools.
“Our pilot programme supported by many CISPA volunteers focused on the Red Bay and Prospect primary schools. The programme has proven so successful that I am very pleased to announce that it has been extended for the 2011/2012 school year with plans to expand to other primary schools as well,” Mr. Short said.
Also at the gala, Charles Bolland remembered the late Mary Anne Cannon, who was director of student services at UCCI and a member of CISPA’s development committee. “Mary Anne helped forge a special relationship between UCCI and CISPA, including launching the CISPA e-mentoring programme at UCCI,” Mr. Bolland said.
In addition to being instrumental in the creation many of the educational programmes supported by CISPA she was also an integral part of the CISPA development committee, he said.