Thursday, April 28, 2005

CIMA Still Not Convinced

Roland Kaye, President of CIMA, is quoted as saying that currently an agreement has "not been reached" that meets CIMA's "requirements" for a "tri-partite consolidation".


"Discussions continue with the aim of agreeing a joint way forward. At the March meeting of CIMA's council, a set of working principles was agreed in order that a successful consolidation could be achieved."

Could someone tell me what these requirements are?

It will be useful to know what CIMA thinks is wrong with the merger plans.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Article in eFinancial Careers

There is an article about the merger on the eFinancial Careers website.

It mentions this site, and is skeptical about the rationale for the merger and the likelihood of it succeeding.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Silence Is Deafening

I emailed the ICAEW on the 10th of April asking them how much the free editions of Accountancy, that we paid for, cost us.

I have yet to receive a reply.

Therefore I sent them this reminder today:

"I wrote to you over a week ago, asking how much it cost to send the membership a free copy of Accountancy.

I have not received a reply.

Please advise when I may expect one.

Many thanks.

Kind regards

Ken Frost

If I receive a response I will post it here.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Reform Or Die

The following was sent to Accountancy, and a number of other media organisations, today:

"It is clear from the responses that I am receiving, in respect of the proposed merger of the ICAEW and other bodies, that many members of the ICAEW are not happy with the merger proposal and are very unhappy with the current structure of the ICAEW.

One area that needs urgent reform is that of Council.

"The purpose of Council, as defined in the 2003 accounts, is to consider, review and approve the overall Institute Strategy and Strategic Plan, including the Institute budget. Council scrutinises policies, policy changes and budgets proposed by The Board and the Directorate Boards in support of the Strategy. It also reviews the activities and performance of the Directorate Boards.

It represents, and articulates, the views of members on all these matters and otherwise delegates the powers and authorities conferred on it by the Charter and bye-laws. Council members take decisions in the best interests of the Institute as a whole."

There are currently around 96 Council members. This, to my view, is excessive; it is a hindrance to effective and rapid decision making.

I believe that a leaner, more focused, decision making body would best serve the membership in the 21st century.

I propose that the current arrangement, whereby members are elected from 22 regional constituencies, be abolished and replaced with elected representatives from the Lines of Business (LOB) of the membership.

The LOB's would be:

-Audit (Practice)
-Audit (Internal)

In order to keep the size of Council manageable, there would be no more than two posts available for each LOB. Thus an elected Council of no more than 14 members would be created.

In my view this would be a significant step forward to making the ICAEW "best in class" in the 21st century.

I have been in discussions with Dr Jeff Wooller, of the Ginger Group, on this matter; he advises me that a motion to reduce the number of Council members was raised, and indeed passed, a number of years ago.

Yet it has been ignored by Council!

Question: the ICAEW is meant to represent the interests of its members, yet it is happily ignoring the membership; why?

I would appreciate it if you could publish the above article in Accountancy, as it is the only way to elicit a response from Council.

Kind regards

Ken Frost

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Institute of Some Chartered Accountants

It seems that our colleagues in Scotland are more than a little "peeved" at the proposed name of the proposed merged institute.

ICAS have posted a letter on their website sent by Ian Robertson, the ICAS president. In it he says that ICAS and its members would "robustly oppose" the name.


"The style proposed seems to ignore the fact that throughout the world the various chartered accountancy institutes are differentiated by a national designation".

As Robertson points out that the merged institute would be an "amalgam of accountants, not all of whom are in an everyday sense recognised as being chartered accountants".

Now if he can see that, why can't our Council?

Robertson suggests a new name for the merged body: "The Institute of Some Chartered Accountants and Public Finance Accountants".

Robertson has succintly highlighted the lack of thought and planning that has gone into the merger proposal.

It has already been fatally holed below the waterline by the absconding of CIMA, now we are faced with direct action and ridicule by ICAS.

The time has come to abandon the proposal, and to restructure Council in the manner that I proposed in an earlier article.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

When a Freebie isn't a Freebie

As noted in my earlier post, it seems that the ICAEW Council has decided to spread the word about their merger proposal by sending out free copies of Accountancy in April.

That much would appear to be confirmed via the ICAEW website, see last paragraph of this link from the ICAEW website.

"The draft proposals for consolidation are available on ICAEW and CIPFA websites and have been sent to the members of both Institutes via Accountancy magazine (ICAEW members) and Spreadsheet (CIPFA members)."

However, what is not entirely clear is how much this act of philanthropy has cost us the members.

We can take an educated guess:

-125000 members

-Normal circulation of Accountancy approximately 50000

-That leaves 75000 people to receive a "freebie"

-Approximate unit cost £3.50 (including post and packing)

-Total cost £262K

-Less bulk purchase discount, say 20%, gives us a grand total of £210K

To my view that is a lot of money, just thrown down the drain by our Council.

I have written to both Accountancy, and the ICAEW asking for the exact cost.

Accountancy wrote back saying that they cannot comment, as and when I hear from the ICAEW I will post their response here.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Costs Keep Rising

I draw your attention to the following post, made on the previous article, by Kamran:

"I live abroad and am yet to receive the April edition of Accountancy. The ICAEW is sending it to me anyway.

In fact, just to promote this silly merger, the ICAEW is sending a copy free of charge to each of its 125,000 members. Can you imagine the cost!

I haven't yet received April's Accountancy, so from what is said in the magazine, are there indications that this previously rejected ridiculous merger will go ahead?

If it does, then I will join a breakaway Welsh Institute or whatever alternatives are available.

I find the above story about the free issue of Accountancy, if it is true, to be a pretty poor use of our subscription fees.

How much of our money is being spent by "our" Institute in trying to convince us of the merits of this unloved and unwanted proposal?

Monday, April 04, 2005

April Accountancy

The April edition of Accountancy devotes a large amount of space to the issue of the proposed merger.

It sets out the views of both the protagonists, and the views of people like me who are against the idea.

Whatever your viewpoint, I suggest that you read it.