Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Global Accounting Alliance-Updated

Proving that the ICAEW and ICAS can work together they have announced, together with ICAI and six other accountancy bodies, the formation of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).


"Representing over 700,000 of the world's leading professional accountants, the Global Accounting Alliance will promote quality professional services, global membership support, share information and collaborate on important international issues.

The Alliance will work with national regulators, governments and stakeholders, through member-body collaboration, articulation of consensus views, and working in collaboration, where possible, with other international bodies

If we can work together in this manner, why did we need to merge?

Unfortunately, Eric Anstee current head of the ICAEW, is still trying to flog the "dead horse" of merger. He is still interested in consolidation with CIPFA and CIMA.

However, he told Accountancy Age that he would have to speak to GAA members about merger plans.

Have I missed something here?

Surely the merger plans were rejected by the membership of the ICAEW last year?

Precisely why should he hold discussions with the GAA about merging?

What part of the word "No" does he not understand?

Update 17:15 27 April 2005

If you look up the registration of, you will see that it was registered on 15th September 2005 by the ICAEW.

This was before the merger motion was defeated in October 2005. This implies that the wheels were already in motion for the creation of the GAA.

Why then, if the ICAEW was working towards a global alliance at that stage, did they persist in telling the members that the most effective way of making our voice heard on the world/national stage was via merging with CIMA/CIPFA?

FYI, I have registered in my name, and will ensure that it redirects to this site in the next 48 hours.


  1. Anonymous said...

    "However, the REMOVAL of Anstee would allow working together with ICAS and other CHARTERED bodies."

    That suggestion made at 10.35 AM has now been 50% implemented (A-Age 27/4/06).

    It was not a clever move. It was, as already stated above, obvious. Anstee deserves no credit at all for being so slow witted and he will continue with his outrageous mismanagement unless he is dismissed. He remains interested in consolidation with CIPFA and CIMA which can only damage ICAEW and The New Alliance.

    Why does Anstee have to speak to GAA members about these merger plans - because he cannot ever admit he was wrong and his face has to be saved.

    Get shot of Anstee.

    10:38 AM

    Copied from the 27th post of the item immediately below.

  2. Thanks Anom

    Any suggestions on how Eric can be removed by the membership?


  3. Ken,

    Membership numbers and distribution inc those retired, student numbers, council numbers, staff numbers and salaries (including CEOs), fees, income, expenditure and other items of interest for all GAA members might provide some material for deep thought.

    The person who comments here regularly on international matters could perhaps produce a table with or without comment.

    When it has been decided what to attack, thoughts may be better directed as to how and where and when to stage the battle.

  4. A list of Anstee's many major gaffes (and retractions),including those of Council members, would also assist.

  5. The "five year" rule allowing ACCA, CIMA and CIPFA admission to ICAEW should now be re-thought using Thought Leadership. I thought leadership was leadership that obviously included thought.

  6. What chance that ACCA and CIMA have a combined studentship which exceeds that of all the GAA members?

    Even if they do not, the numbers will speak volumes (in both senses).

  7. How many directors/partners and how many staff do the big 4 ACCA and the big 4 CIMA "professionals" have?

  8. ICAEW have been chronically humiliated - but with the new beginning and drastic surgery that can be soon forgotten.

  9. The easiest way to dispose of Eric might be to let Patricia and Charles look after his Health & Safety.

  10. How can GAA save ICAEW’s chronic funding problem.

    Too many Chartered OAPs and too few Chartered Babies.

  11. Can ICAEW now ditch Media Strategy?

  12. Anon 3.19

    With drastic surgery as already mentioned.

  13. I predict the next strategic decision the ICAEW council will make is to give back door entry to all GAA accountants.

    Remember, you heard it first here.

  14. IF that is the GAA decision (which would be only an expansion of the current position); who would be against it?

    Ken may say like with like.

  15. I doubt many GAA accountants would want back door ICAEW membership, unless they happen to work in the UK and wish to domicile here

  16. ICAEW already has back door entry to all but one GAA body.

    I think US CPA’s cannot get ICAEW membership without sitting the exams – but I may be wrong.

  17. It’s hard to say if ICAEW wouldn’t give back-door access to US CPAs based on the past records of Anstee and his council.

    What worry him is if he could really pitch a significant number of new ICAEW members by offering direct membership admission to the Global Accounting Institutes.

  18. I don’t think US CPAs would be interested to join a crap body of accountants saving those who actually residing in Britain (not mention Ireland which already did possess MRA).

  19. A GAA logo and optionally, additional designatory letters GAA, might be a good move.

    Local examinations in Tax and Law might allow further designatory letters for those GAA members who want to work internationally.

  20. Ken,


    I believe that you, and your fellow MAC members, have effectively won this victory for common sense.

    I also suggest, that with your extensive and senior international experience you should be invited to join an ICAEW/GAA Ethics Committee.

  21. Is it almost time, by working together, to shed at least 50 ICAEW Council members and at least 100 ICAEW staff?

    This would help to fund the additional travel/residence expenditure which will be necessary.

    Some office space together with facilities could and probably should be made available at Moorgate Place for all GAA participants.

  22. Anom


    "I also suggest, that with your extensive and senior international experience you should be invited to join an ICAEW/GAA Ethics Committee..."


    So do I, I await the phone call!:)


  23. Ken,

    I was most interested to read your 17.15 update and I very much look forward to further news.

  24. Ken,

    I think Eric and the ICAEW Council will be red-faced on reading today's postings.

  25. Were CIPFA, CIMA and IFA in the picture last September? What was said to them?

    They should definitely not be admitted in future. Would ICAS have agreed to this Alliance if those bodies had been included?

    Eric is a devious ....... and he must go.

  26. It would appear that each GAA member effectively has a veto.

    AICPA (with some 50% of the total GAA members) already have a 27/10/2005 agreement with CIMA.

    We obviously cannot trust ICAEW; but hopefully ICAS, ICAI and others would bar CIMA from joining The Alliance.

  27. I've not read all the comments but let me get this straight - Anstee has misled ICAEW?

    I very nearly wrote on my blog 'the alliance was made in the misguided notion that size matters. ACCA was quite right to call it re-branding'

    ICAEW is going to be in for one heck of a shock when it comes across its CPA colleagues. Quite a number of these guys are smart, understand the value of communications, have great ideas about staffing and specialising. they also face many of the same challenges AS professionals in the UK.

  28. the same goes for the Indian CPA contingent and Australians - I'm meeting these folk through my blog - interesting...

  29. Looks like the accounting bodies would be concluded as CPA vs ICA.

    Would CPA merge with ICA then to form one and only uniform body of professional accountants in this world.

  30. Why ICAEW took the lead role in forming the Global Accounting Alliance, it simply want to work with its sister bodies across the globe and now with CPA colleagues on the other side of Atlantic in order to single out and marginalize ACCA on international arena.

  31. There is no need for CIMA to join GAA.

    It already has a foothold in all GAA jurisdictions except US, where it has a tie up with AICPA.

  32. DH,

    It is about reputation and recognition.

    Less than a decade ago, with a view to a takeover, ACCA wrote directly to all CIMA members (without going through the CIMA Council).

    There is no point in further comment.

  33. Anom,

    You said ACCA wrote to all CIMA members without going through CIMA council. Is this appropriate and ethical in view of the Data Protection Act. Or is this true or not?

    Last year, it was reported in the Accounting web that a UK body wrote to members of a "junior" body to invite them to membership. This was already criticised by the "junior" body's CEO and by some of its members. Further, someone raised the issue of Data Protection Act, which is it correct that the "senior" body has violated by getting hold of the "junior" body's database and started sending out membership invitation to its members?

  34. If you look at the world map, you see North and South Americas on one side, and Europe and Asia on the other bigger end, with smaller "big" islands like Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.

    If you look at the trend about "globalising" the accounting bodies and alliances, it appears, the mindset follow the same as how the world- map is, ie ICA on one side and CPA on the other side.

    Sheer coincidence or what? What a FATED world to be.

    Medicine too almost follow the same fate. The Asia continents advocates traditional such as homeopathy, Chinese medicine and meridien system, etc. whilst the US/Canada are more "modern medicine" inclined, with developments and progress of modern inventions coming up now and then.

    However, South America has still in its current stage of advocating traditional approaches to healing.

    What else the accounting professionals see?

  35. The (1998)Data Protection Act may have taken effect after the ACCA approach to CIMA members, or perhaps via information obtained earlier, or perhaps it was not applicable in the circumstances.

    You are, I think, right in that the Act restricted the recent merger communications.

  36. If the GAA is to have any true meaningful purpose the major world bodies of accountants must be included. Namely, the Indian Chartered Accountants.

  37. A-A reports that Eric will have to speak to GAA members about merger plans.

    A-A also reports that Eric is staking his reputation on the success of GAA.

    What perverse nonsense and what reputation?

  38. No mention of the GAA on the CCAB web page!!!

    What a farce the CCAB is really, perhaps they should make it The Chartered Committee of Accountancy Bodies!!!

  39. CCAB is just a social club. I can't see any function it could serve. GAA instead is an international association of CA bodies.

  40. Ken,

    AccountancyAge accorded you joint 11th (with Eric Anstee) on their own Financial Power List of those to watch in 2006.

    If they do not allow both of you at least one, preferably two, unedited, articles to state your respective cases .......

  41. In the light of current developments where AICPA has joined the “Global Accounting Alliance” led by ICAEW and CIMA has got a close tie with AICPA, it is anticipated that CIPFA would follow suite of CIMA. Thus leaving ACCA in the cold.

  42. Poor ACCA, what on earth will they do!!

    Last time I looked it wasn't a merger, so what's going to change, apart from institutes talking to each other about local issues they don't have in common!?!?

    Look forward to the day they all fall out!!

  43. I love the global accounting alliance.
    At some point the accounting bodies should all be merged to one.

    I do not see ACCA being left out. ACCA could form its own, with many others around the world and compete. They could form an aliance with CPA Ireland, CPA Australia, many of the ICA in the carribean islands, All the African Countries, Most Asian countries, Many of the european countries, etc etc. Get my point?

  44. ACCA could form similar alliance with others accounting instititutes around the globe, I don't think so. Do you remeber it has mutual recognition with CGA Canada in early 90s whereby members of each could get membership in other by passing limited papaers. Where is this arrangement now? Do you rembmer ACCA did possess reciprocal agreement with ICA in New Zealand? What is the status of this MRA/RMA now? And many other bad experience including those in Hong Kong.

  45. Does anyone know the results of ACCA efforts to pursue official recognition in Canada by lodging a complaint to Canadian Government’s Red Tape Commission in respect of the alleged discrimination against ACCA verses ICAEW?

    It’s the same as someone going off for a job interview and once knew unsuccessful to lodge a complaint for fair treatment on the grounds of racial, age, gender and religious discriminations.

  46. The GAA will be chaired by former Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Harrison.

  47. Makes me laugh how the majority of ACCA accountants start out their professional careers alongside fellow ICAEW, ICAS members in public practice, yet ICAEW/members give them less credit than say CIMA or CIPFA?

  48. In your case it is easily seen why.

  49. To 4:17pm

    You use the words 'Your case' please explain?

  50. Simon Cheung , 30-Apr-2006 [Edit] [Remove]
    ICAEW's Ambition for Global Expansion
    What I can foresee is FRC/POBA will give recognition to all member institutes in Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) thereby enabling ICAEW to forfeit the aptitude tests requirements for direct membership admission in ICAEW with respect to these allies.
    As a result all CCAB and members of GAA will only need to pass ICAEW’s examination of experience (so called the ACA Advanced Stage case study) for member admission purpose.

    Therefore it could achieve Anstee’s aim for global membership expansion.

  51. Can ACCA, CIMA or CIPFA members join any of the GAA bodies (apart from ICAEW) without sitting their respective examinations?

    How many applications have there been thus far and how many admissions?

    Those who enter by the back door should not be properly regarded as Chartered accountants.

    This concession should be withdrawn - it was introduced to spite the ICAEW members who voted against consolidation and it should never have been enabled except via a 2/3rds majority.

  52. No ACCA, CIMA or CIPFA members allow to join any of the GAA bodies except for ICAEW without passing their examinations.

    It's time to do the right thing, Anstee. Drop the previous announced disguised merger plan which open admission to all CCAB member institutes. It is just a limb duck plan where unilaterally given by ICAEW with no reciprocal treatment in return by ACCA, CIMA or CIPFA.

  53. Of those CIMA members who also belong to ACCA; surely some will have entered ACCA by the back door.

  54. It is anticipated that employers across the globe will require job placement to be filled by GAA qualified accountants other than CCAB in UK.

  55. What "must be GAA qualified"?

    What happens if a CIMA, CIPFA or ACCA is advertising the role?

  56. That’s a good question. Members of CIMA, ACCA and CIPFA are also belonged to GAA by ICAEW’s back door access. What a subtle plan of Anstee? When it becomes norm to recruit GAA qualified accountants in lieu of CCAB all non-GAA members would be compelled to join ICAEW by its open admission route. As a result it will achieve Anstee’s global membership expansion target.

  57. To avoid its members being poached by ICAEW all non-GAA CCAB institutes would have to poach members from all GAA institutes into its membership by way of open admission entry like ICAEW.

  58. Eric Anstee is not only vain
    But his merger idea was insane
    It's hardly a mystery
    That he'll go down in history
    As a builder of Castles in Spain

    What about sponsoring a 2p prize for the best limerick on Eric.

  59. Landmark agreement for CPAs working in the US

    Date issued: 29 March 2006

    CPA Australia has become the first Australian accounting body to gain recognition for its qualification within the United States without a requirement for its members to take additional study.

    A new mutual recognition agreement (MRA) means that CPA Australia members with a three-year undergraduate degree can now obtain licences to work in the United States.

    CPA Australia’s President Mark Coughlin said, 'The agreement between our two countries shows the high regard held by US professional bodies for the CPA designation, its rigorous education program and the professional standards to which our members have to adhere to.

    'The MRA will enable more CPAs to work in the US. This is great news for Australian business in the US who wish to employ our members.

    'The Australian Government’s leadership and continuing efforts to support professional services initiatives through the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement are clearly paying dividends.

    'We congratulate the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile on his recent agreement with the US Trade Representative Rob Portman to work on mutual recognition issues regarding accreditation for professionals.'

    Currently, there are 500 CPAs working in the US. The MRA is with the United States International Qualifications Appraisal Board (US IQAB) representing the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Thirty-nine US states including California, New York and Texas recognise the CPA qualification.

    Mr Coughlin said, 'CPAs operate in the global marketplace. We have MRAs in place in Hong Kong and Singapore, and this MRA with the US will assist our members gain experience overseas to further their careers.'

    Subject: Both ways re-qualification (Australia <> USA)
    Created on 02 May 2006 14:36:06
    Message #1167 of 1167
    Posted By safebooth

    US IQAB is revising terms of its mutual recognition agreement with CPA Australia and ICAA.

    In future, members of AICPA (US CPA) could gain both CPA Australia and ACA (Australia) designations without the need to fulfil further examinations or experience requirements.

    It is anticipated that mutual recognition agreement with ICAI will be subjected to the same terms as CPA Australia/ICAA upon renewal.

    It may be extended to allies within the GAA framework. If so, it could be a significant ditch for ACCA.

    Stay tune, more news to come!
    *** This message has been edited by safebooth on 02 May 2006 14:46:15 ***

  60. The major driving force for this agreement between CPA Australia and US IQAB is THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S leadership and continuing efforts to support professional services initiatives through the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement are clearly paying dividends.

    DTI/FRC/POBA, please do something to improve the competitiveness of British Accountants.

  61. They are bureaucrat no business acumen/international perspectives at all.

  62. Anstee's the man for the chop
    So who'll put his head on the block
    He ought to be slaughtered
    Or hung drawn and quartered
    For trying to close the closed shop

  63. "THE government accountancy adviser at the time of BT's privatisation in 1984 believes the amount covered by a State-backed pensions guarantee has been over-estimated.
    Eric Anstee who was commercial accountancy adviser to HM Treasury between 1983 and 1986, argues BT's Crown guarantee is worth significantly less than the telecom company believe it to be."

    THE ABOVE IS QUOTED FROM THE FIRST TWO PARAS ONLY OF THE FRONT PAGE of The Daily Telegraph Business section 3/5/2006.

    So now Anstee is in the news, it is time to explain in letters to the NATIONAL PRESS some of his pitiful demonstations of judgment in dealing with ICEAW merger matters. That would show that half a year ago he couldn't even convince 19,000 of his own members to agree with him despite no funded opposition, a PR company without honour and profligate spending.

  64. A-A said, only last Thursday;

    "He'll (Eric Anstee will) be hoping he's right, because ICAEW members have shown little patience with the leadership of late."

  65. With sole access to members, and almost all of the chips Eric couldn't win.

    A minute opposition, backed by sound cards, defeated him.

  66. No Big Four split, says FRC
    Watchdog rules out drastic action to increase audit competition
    Paul Grant, Accountancy Age, 02 May 2006
    ADVERTISEMENTThis ad zapped.
    Members of the Big Four will not be broken up in order to increase competition in the audit market, accounting's watchdog has confirmed.
    Responding to a direct question from a concerned investor at last week's stakeholder meeting on audit competition and choice, the Financial Reporting Council confirmed that neither it nor the government had the power to tear apart a Big Four firm in order to create more competitors.
    The meeting provided little in terms of firm plans for ways to increase the amount of audit choice available to large companies with even the larger mid-tier firms that would benefit the most reluctant to see intervention.
    Some accountants have argued that competition and exposure to liability are intrinsically linked and the study falls down by failing to look at the two issues together, but Boyle argued that while changes to the liability regime included in the company law reform bill would help the situation somewhat 'it does not eradicate the problems we are talking about.'

    What is the role of government in the accountancy market?

    I think the government should step up policy where all big four, mid-tier or small sized firms would have the same level playing field. The government should ONLY encourage competition instead of directly intervene the market operations. It could formulate policy that is conducive to enabling potential players to enter the audit practice market such as speeding up the assessment and recognition of foreign accountants (GAA qualified) to gain audit rights in UK.

    Although it is the choice of consumers (companies) to decide which accounting firm they wish to get engage with for audit assignment.

  67. Remind us about the ICAEW pension deficit and its financial results for 2005 and its incompetent management in that year.

    What is Anstee's opinion worth and to whom?

    Source: Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer
    Country: Australia
    Date: 03/05/2006
    Contributor: Andrew Priest

    The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Chris Pearce, who has portfolio responsibility for corporate and financial services regulation, has released a discussion paper looking to "reduce the regulatory and compliance burden in Australia".

    “This consultation paper outlines 56 issues. To ensure the best result I encourage all interested stakeholders to engage in a thorough analysis of this paper. As was the case with the FSR refinements last year, I want to hear from consumers and industry about their ideas as to whether the proposed changes are required and how we can achieve them.

    The Australia government and regulators are obviously moving to the right direction whereas UK regulator is moving to nowhere.

  69. A-A page 16 (4/5/2006)

    Anstee said about the GAA "It is also about ensuring we are there to support our members ......"

    I agree with Ken, Anstee was (and has not denied he is)interested in supporting CIPFA, CIMA and then IFA members in preference to ICAEW members.

    There was an interesting letter on the same page, pointing out that some 47% (310,000) of US CPAs did not voluntarily join AICPA.

  70. It is not a mandatory requirement in the US to be a member of AICPA in order to perform statutory audit work but possession of CPA licence in State Board of Accountancy is compulsory.

    If we count all US CPAs that haven’t joined the AICPA as potential members then we could arrive at the figure of 660,000 members or 1,050,000 GAA qualified accountants. That is really a critical mass.

  71. Next Thursday will be the 126th anniversary of founding the ICAEW.

    With a present membership of some 126,000 that is an average increase of 1,000 pa.

    I seem to recall Eric admitting the net loss of members is currently running at about 1,000 pa.

  72. Hope the open admission policy to all CCAB institutes could help to make up this 1,000 deficiency. Perhaps Anstee would extend the open admission to all 660,000 US CPA in which 1 percent is 6.600 (six folds of the shortfall), what a marvellous plan!

  73. Did Anstee invite AIA to join the GAA? I read that the AIA exam, as a RQB, is "equivalent in standing" as the ICAEW, thus, all exam bodies of equal standing should be allowed to join GAA. Am I wrong?

  74. All right! I agree the AIA must be made compulsory to join GAA without fail because of its high standard "equivalent to ICAEW".

    When can this be done?

    After being admitted to GAA, AIA members should be allowed to join other GAA member body direct without condition.

  75. Subject: International Mobility of GAA Accountants
    Created by safebooth on 05 May 2006 09:29:35
    1 Message #1 of 1: Date Posted: 05 May 2006 09:29:35 by safebooth
    Under the GAA platform led by ICAEW and Chair by past CEO of ICAA, members of the constituent institutes could enjoy benefits as follows:

    (1) Being members of the first class accounting bodies would be much easier opting to pursue an international career.

    (2) GAA framework would also facilitate programme to publicise and promote international career opportunities for GAA accountants beyond the national boundaries.

    (3) It also helps to provide the place for informal exhibition to promote networking and exchange of ideas.

    (4) It could serve the purpose of facilitating the Trans-national recognition of the GAA label marking.

    (5) GAA could do lobbying works to facilitate recognition by the competent authorities in member countries of respective designations with the ultimate aim to culminate MRA between composite institutes.

    (6) By getting each CA bodies working together to help shaping the future success of IFAC in the delivery of its targets.

    (7) It also includes a role in considering mutual membership services among the nine bodies.

  76. Eric Anstee, scorekeeper or scorer?

    19,322 only remembered his own goals and acidity.

    He has subsequently added to that tally; so how many more would not now have him on the ICAEW team?

    After a poor result yesterday, and a performance to match that of Eric A, Tony B eventually pronouced Charles C dismissed, having recently refused his resignation.

    Anstee must resign or be sacked. He was, and is, neither competent as CEO nor even an ICAEW team player (though he openly wanted the oppostion to win).