More people than ever approached Chartered Accountants’ Benevolent Association in 2012 – and more were also helped, according to the charity’s annual Impact Report, issued this week.

Among the key achievements listed in the report are the facts that CABA:

  • assisted 1,694 people with requests for support through its in-house enquiry channels and helpline – a 70% increase on 2011
  • provided 657 clients with support services – an annual increase of 46%
  • supported 477 people through online, telephone and face-to-face counselling
  • trained 696 delegates – 94% of whom would recommend CABA courses to others in the profession
  • supported 106 carers – an increase of 40%
  • provided grants and donations totalling £602k to 255 accountants, their families or dependents

Perhaps the most notable new service has been Career Coaching, designed for accountants who want to get back into work after redundancy. To date, 51% of the 57 people who have completed the course have since found work. A further 160 people are currently undertaking the course.

Kath Haines, Chief Executive at CABA, said: “We believe that the dramatic increase in people contacting CABA is due to a number of factors. Among these are the facts that the services we offer are more relevant to the needs of accountants than ever before. We have also become much better at marketing our services so that accountants have become more aware of us and what we can do for them”.

"However, these are also especially difficult times for accountants, as they are for many people. There have certainly been increases in the number of people contacting us about recession-linked issues such as unemployment and the fact that they feel they are facing increasing pressure at work and are struggling to cope.”

CABA’s future plans include: developing a wellbeing and engagement strategy that will reach and support more accountants; increasing support for ICAEW members working overseas; and improving case management and the measurement of CABA’s intervention.

Kath added: “Looking forward, our aim is to consider specific groups of people and their needs, such as those living overseas. Ultimately, we must strive to ensure that no chartered accountant faces difficulties alone or unsupported.”