The ICAEW published its annual review for 2005 on May 8.
In it Eric Anstee talks about formalising the working relationship with CIPFA, he goes on to say:
"So we are exploring options for a closer working relationship with CIPFA on policy issues such as pensions as well as offering member and student benefits in learning and professional development.
We remain committed to the principle of consolidation of the UK profession in the long term."
It is clear that the ICAEW is determined to try to push the merger through again. Lessons have not been learned.
The review also notes, as one of the ICAEW's achievements in 2005, the restructuring of the ACA and training framework. This is patently untrue, or let me say a gross exaggeration, the new syllabus which was due to be launched in 2006 was put back to 2007 becuase of internal problems within the ICAEW (see Chaos at The ICAEW).
Anstee goes on to say:
"We have begun exploring routes to qualification to increase access to the profession, setting an ambitious target of doubling student numbers by 2010.
Equally, we have looked at wider avenues of increasing membership, for example, with the membership and co-operation agreement with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants announced in 2004.
We are continuing to build such partnerships with premier bodies in other key markets."
I have made this point before, but it seems worthwhile making again, the size of the ICAEW is not the issue; it is the quality of the membership that is crucial to maintaining our brand value.
By opening the doors to other bodies, who do not have identical training methods or exam systems, the ICAEW are simply diluting our brand.
The ICAEW are seeking a 4% increase in subscriptions, given that they wasted over £1.4 million last year on the failed merger vote and that they are clearly seeking to try the same again in 2007, I have voted against the rise.