Friday, January 28, 2005

Democracy in The ICAEW

The merger proposal, put forward by the ICAEW, has at least had one beneficial outcome for the membership.

It gives us the chance to think about the structure and organisation of the ICAEW, and the way forward for the Institute as a whole.

One aspect that seems to have received little attention from the members, in the past, is the annual election of the President of the ICAEW.

The incumbent is currently elected by the Council; the members, for some mysterious reason, do not a get a say.

Now here's a radical idea; why not allow the members to nominate, and vote for the President in the future?

Views anyone?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Have We Already Merged?

There is an interesting public difference of opinion being aired on accountingweb, between Jeff Wooller and the ICAEW.

Nothing new there, you may say.

However, the issue that JW raises is relevant to the merger plans.

It seems that the director of training and education, Brain Chiplin, departed in November due to ill health.

Now the odd thing here is that this fact was only made public, when JW raised it in December.

The fact that there is no permanent replacement in the role yet is, according to JW, down to CIMA; who, he alleges, are annoyed at not being consulted over the advertisements for the post.

Now, if JW is correct, this means that CIMA already seem to have a say in ICAEW policy; this despite the fact that the members of the ICAEW have not yet voted against the merger plan.

I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who can confirm, or deny, this story. It is less than satisfactory to find out that we are being "steamrollered" into a merger, by giving outside bodies a say in ICAEW policy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Questions For The Institute

I have a few questions for the ICAEW, in respect of the merger:

1 How much is the merger expected to cost, if it gets the green light?

2 How much of the members' money has been spent, and will be spent, on trying to persuade us to support this ill conceived proposal?

3 How was the CEO of the ICAEW able to persuade the Council to approve the
merger proposals, given the fact that he knew that CIMA had in effect rejected it?

4 Are there going to be two Councils, eg ICAEW Council and Super Institute Council?

5 What is the Institute's plan "B" for going forward, when the merger proposal is roundly rejected by the membership?

I know that the ICAEW in Milton Keynes regularly read this site, and would therefore be grateful if they could post the answers to these questions here.

Many thanks.

Friday, January 21, 2005


The big eight European countries are considering proposals to harmonise their national accountancy qualifications.

This would create a common core of content, which would enable greater freedom of movement for qualified accountants across borders.

Accountancy Age lists the following countries and institutes as participating in the project:

-France, Ordre des Experts-Comptables (OEC)
-Germany, Institut der Wirtschaftsprfer (IDW) and Wirtschaftsprferkammer (WPK)
-Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
-Italy, Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti (CNDC)
-The Netherlands, Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut van Registeraccountants (NIVRA)
-England, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
-Scotland, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

This harmonisation process further undermines the logic of the "backward" step of merging with CIMA and CIPFA.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Freedom of Information Act

A very robust campaign is being waged by Jeff Lampert, who asked the ICAEW to provide him with papers relating to a complaint about KPMG.

Lampert is now trying to invoke the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which he believes covers the ICAEW.

Essex University accountancy professor Prem Sikka has chipped in, arguing that; since the ICAEW acts as a regulator, it functions as a public authority.

In other words it is covered by the FOIA, needless to say the ICAEW disagrees.

The full debate on this issue is detailed on Accountingweb.

If Jeff Lampert manages to invoke FOIA, it should have positive consequences for the Stop The Merger campaign; it will enable people to extract the details of the costs of this merger proposal, the costs of the roadshows and details of council meetings from the ICAEW.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

ACCA Poaches ICAEW Members

Accountancy Age reports that John Brace, president of ACCA, has cheekily written to practitioners advertising its "direct admission to membership route for chartered accountants".

Brace told Accountancy Age that ACCA was appealing to members of the ICAEW who may have become "disaffected" by the merger.

This is further proof that the merger proposal is in fact highly unpopular.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Inland Revenue Seal of Approval

The ICAEW website reports the following:

"A number of students at the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise are to begin training for the ACA qualification. The students were impressed with the range of careers available to ACAs in both the private and public sector, once they had qualified."

David Swift, Head of the Accountancy Profession at the Inland Revenue, is quoted as saying:

"I believe that this reflects the consistently high regard in which the ICAEW qualification is held amongst graduates.."

Given this vote of confidence by the Inland Revenue in the ACA qualification, I must ask again, why dilute the brand by merging?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

An Exchange of Letters

I commend the site self assessment for their dogged letter writing campaign to the ICAEW against the merger.

The latest letter raises a most valid point; precisely how much are the ICAEW roadshows, designed to persuade us of the benefits of this dead proposal, costing us?

I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has access to these figures.