Bruce Lawson FCA, of the Welsh Members' against Consolidation, asked me to publicise this press release today.
Does this not rather make a mockery of Accountancy's assertion (October issue page 30) that there is no organised opposition to the proposed ICAEW/CIPFA merger?
Your Vote Counts Double - Use It To Vote 'No'
Members Against Consolidation (MAC), a group of Welsh practising accountants supported by many others across the U.K., believe the proposed merger is flawed, face saving, expensive and will tarnish the Chartered status of members of ICAEW.
Consider The Following
ICAEW have a "planned deficit" for 2005 of £1.39 million. Why?
Subscriptions went up by 7.5% in 2005 and are set to rise 9% in 2006. Why? The final proposals speak of "net cost savings of not less than £4 million will be achieved by the end of the first two years".
"CIPFA represents 13,500 members working" Page 3, Message from Council. CIPFA has, in fact, 10,584 active members (Accountancy, October 2005). ICAEW webcast talks of 14,000. Why the spin?
Two straw polls in Wales and the Marches in February and August 2005 involved 700 practising accountants. 120 of those replied, of whom 90% were against the merger.
MAC wrote to all 2005 Council Members (95 of them) in September. It emerges in replies from several of them that they are gagged on the merger issue; one member commented "At present, members are not permitted to discuss the merger in public or let their views be known". There is not unanimous support on Council for the merger.
Nevertheless, senior partners of all major firms have written a collective letter in Accountancy Age promoting the merger. Presumably they all have partners on Council!
Another former Council member comments "When I was on Council, I too tended to feel that we were being fed a lot of spin that required us to trust the Chief Executive and the Officers although I understand at least one of them had been gagged and did not support the merger".
Another ICAEW Council Member resigned within the last year over "woolly financial planning and reporting".
Another Council member commented that the presentation at Council Conference in July of the merger figures was poor, and that another meeting was convened for September when it was then reported that due diligence was not quite complete! He felt reluctant to accept the mooted £4 million saving.
CIMA have no place for a merger in their future strategy (see their website).
The merger is unnecessary. ICAEW have already alienated Institutes in Australia, India, New Zealand and Scotland over the name issue. The Privy Council may not accept the Institute of Chartered Accountants as a future name. What then?
What are the costs to date of this activity - £1-£2 million? How many man hours have been devoted to this issue, which could have been better used elsewhere.
YOUR VOTE AGAINST COUNTS DOUBLE. ICAEW need a two-thirds majority. Read the interview in Accountancy Age with ICAEW executives (6th October, Page 20) carefully. Is it our professional institute or a Plc seeking growth for growth's sake?
PLEASE VOTE NO
If you don't, sadly we'll reach the stage, after 125 years, where the ICAEW logo and its universally acclaimed goodwill and reputation will be sacrificed simply to increase its size by a paltry 8%.
MEMBERS AGAINST CONSOLIDATION
(C. B. Lawson, F.C.A. and others 10 October 2005)