There is a splendidly robust article in today's Herald, trumpeting the success of the Scottish Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAS) in doubling its student membership in the last six years.
The article contrasts the success of ICAS with the failure of the ICAEW to respond to the needs of multinantionals, and its decline in student numbers.
Seemingly the majority of the rise in ICAS number is down to the fact that Ernst and Young put all of its students through the Scottish system five years ago. PWC and KPMG also followed suit with some of their students.
Des Hudson, the Scottish body's chief executive, is quoted as saying:
"The situation will continue as long as we remain of value and relevance (to the firms). But we don't expect it as a God-given right.."
Hudson then went on to say that ICAS is still waiting to hear more about the proposed merger between the ICAEW, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
Seemingly ICAS is determined to thwart the plan to call the super-institute "The Institute of Chartered Accountants".
So there you have it, the merger proposal is merely an attempt to hide the fact that the fall in membership of the ICAEW is down to its lack of flexibility.
The merger proposal is a red herring, and should be dismissed ASAP.
If people feel that the ICAEW is relevant they will join.