Michael Cleary, the head of Grant Thornton, has made a bold call for unification of all six UK professional accounting bodies in a speech delivered to the Institute of Financial Accountants.
Cleary said that it is a "nonsense" for Britain to have more than six professional organisations.
He went on to predict that within a decade all the institutes will combine to form one nationwide institute.
Cairn Energy chairman Norman Murray, who is president of the Scottish institute (ICAS), disagrees:
"We have always said that consolidation is not inevitable.
To demonstrate to our members that merging would be in their interests and in the public interest, we need to show that we can work together closely with other institutes first and foremost.
At the moment we see no need to merge."
The ICAEW president, Ian Morris, also spoke up about co-operation when he visited Edinburgh to address the 1300 members of the English institute who work in Scotland.
"Our relationship with ICAS is one of partnership.
I value the long-standing and constructive working relationship that exists between (us)."
I agree that a merger with ICAS would be beneficial for both bodies, if the membership can be persuaded. However, last year's appalling public relations disaster wrt the name change foisted on the ICAEW members by the ICAEW leadership has not done the ICAEW's reputation in Scotland any favours.
Ian Morris is right to say that we should value a long standing and constructive relationship with ICAS. Unfortunately, last year the leadership of the ICAEW did its very best to destroy the relationship.
As regards Michael Cleary's desire to merge all bodies, a merger should only be sought between similar bodies of equal standing in respect of qualifications and prestige. ICAS and ICAEW are two such bodies; CIPFA, CIMA et al are not.
That is why the merger with CIPFA failed last year, until the leadership of the ICAEW get that message we will not be able to move forward and engage in constructive dialogue with ICAS.