Martin Walker, Professor of Finance and Accounting at the University of Manchester, is quoted in Accountancy Age as saying that the MBA qualification offers greater opportunities to high quality finance professionals than the ACA qualification.
It is debatable as to whether the MBA, as such, poses a direct threat to the ACA. However, Professor Walker then goes on to argue that the ICAEW needs to re-badge the ACA qualification. He notes that merging with CIPFA might reduce costs, but it would not address the shortcomings of the current ACA qualification:
"..if you haven't go the product that is internationally competitive, it doesn't matter how cheap it is".
He is absolutley correct. It should also be remembered that whilst the ICAEW was spending vast sums of time and money last year in trying to railroad through the merger, they allowed the relaunch of the new syllabus (originally planned for this year) to fail.
The neglect of the syllabus is inexcusable, and will have a detrimental long term effect on the brand value of the ICAEW.